By Bandlapalli Madan Mohan Reddy, New Delhi
Former Vice-Chancellor Dr Professor Yedla C. Simhadri said introduction of English medium education in Andhra Pradesh will dispel the socio-economic disparities and will unleash an era of egalitarian society. He said the English medium will immensely benefit the economically disadvantaged groups in the state. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced that English will be the medium of instruction for primary, upper primary and high schools with Telugu or Urdu as compulsory subjects from the academic year 2020-21, and English will be introduced for classes 7 to 10 in the subsequent years from 2021-2022.
“I am very happy that he did this from the school level. I must congratulate him and thank him for introducing English medium in entire Andhra Pradesh. This he has done in the interest of Andhra Pradesh’s growth and development particularly to the poor and weaker sections,” Professor Simhadri said.
“When Lord McCauley ji introduced English medium at that time in India he said with English India will develop and India will become one country. As a matter of fact because of English, India has become one otherwise there is no one India. So that proved right at that time and the same thing will happen in Andhra Pradesh. Because English is not there properly in Andhra Pradesh in elementary and secondary levels. Many poor, weaker sections, disadvantaged groups…they are economically disadvantaged groups are not able to reach the right level,” Professor Simhadri said. He had served as the Vice-Chancellor of different universities in India such Benares Hindu University and Patna University.
During the British colonial India, English was introduced by Lord Macaulay (Thomas Babington) introduced English language in India. At that time, he defended his decision when there were protests and disapproval: “Whoever knows [English] has ready access to all the vast intellectual wealth, which all the wisest nations of the earth have created and hoarded in the course of ninety generations. It may be safely said, that the literature now extant in that language is of far greater value than all the literature which three hundred years ago was extant in all the languages of the world together. The question now before us is simply whether, when it is in our power to teach this language, we shall teach languages, by which, by universal confession, there are not books on any subject which deserve to be compared to our own; whether, when we can teach European science, we shall teach systems which, by universal confession, whenever they differ from those of Europe, differ for the worse; and whether, when we can patronise sound Philosophy and true History, we shall countenance, at the public expense, medical doctrines, which would disgrace an English farrier, –Astronomy, which would move laughter in girls at an English boarding school,–History, abounding with kings thirty feet high, and reigns thirty thousand years long,–and Geography, made up of seas of treacle and seas of butter.”
“I could go around the world because of English language,” Prof Simhadri cited. “And I became six time Vice Chancellor.” He observed that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is a great and dynamic personality and he thought very carefully and what is good (regarding the introduction of English medium education).
“We will go ahead with English medium schools, come what may. We have to prepare the students to boldy face and stand up to the requirements of technology-driven world,” the Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said. “We should not feel guilty by not preparing the generation-next to face the highly dynamic and technology-driven world.”