Hyderabad: The preference for English medium schools is being challenged by those who fear that children will soon stop speaking Telugu, or will not be proficient in their mother tongue. They want Telugu to be taught right up to Class 10 in all schools in the state.
UNESCO’s Education for All campaign says that teaching children in their mother tongue is more effective as children will grasp subjects better, learn faster, and express themselves better.
S.V. Sathyanarayana, Vice Chancellor of Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, says, “Parents think that only children who have studied in corporate english medium schools can get prominent and lucrative jobs, which is a very wrong notion because there are many examples of candidates from rural backgrounds and government schools who have become prominent IAS officers and other high ranking officials. I myself studied in a government school but now I am Vice-Chancellor of this university.”
He said it’s wrong to assume that Telugu language doesn’t provide any jobs; many students from our university were placed in high positions which demanded a qualification in Telugu languages. Only five per cent of students enter MNCs while 95 per cent students opt for different career options which need more skill sets rather than only English language.”
Professor Surya Dhananjay, head of the Telugu Department at Osmania University, said that the Central government had formulated the ‘Three Language Policy’ in 1964, which advised schools to teach the regional language as the first language, Hindi as the second language, and English as the third language. “But we are not following this policy properly. Instead of following the three language policy, we started studying English as the first language and Telugu as the second language, mainly in private schools,” she says.
She adds, “The government should strictly implement the three language policy and should implement Telugu as the first language in both the Telugu speaking states. Children should mandatorily study Telugu at least till the fifth grade or maximum 10th grade....