Plea in SC against Andhra Pradesh HC striking down of government order for English in State Government schools
Prarthana Kumari 18 Sep 2020

Plea in SC against Andhra Pradesh HC striking down of government order for English in State Government schools

In a plea, filed by Andhra Pradesh government, challenging the AP High Court’s judgement of striking down the state government’s order to make English language the medium of instruction in State Government Schools from classes I to IV, starting from the ongoing academic session 2020-2021.Recently, Supreme Court of India refused to stay AP High Court’s judgement.

The Court has also asked to the guardians’ organization to file an affidavit & will recognize the application for stay (interim relief) on the decision after caveators get an opportunity to file their response (affidavit) within 14 days.

Heading a 3- Judge bench including Justice Indu Malhotra and K.M. Joseph, Justice D Y Chandrachud noticed that Section 29(2)(f) of the RTE (Right to Education) Act, says that the medium of instruction shall, “as far as it is applicable”,  be in a child’s mother tongue and it seems that the High Court took this into account.

However, the Bench issued a notice to the petitioner on the AP government’s plea challenging the High Court’s April 15 judgement.

Appearing on the behalf of State, K V Viswanathan, a Senior Advocate, requested for stay on the High Court order along with issuance of notice, calling the AP government’s decision a “progressive measure”. He said the Right to Education (RTE) Act doesn’t stop English medium instruction in schools and there is no any limitation on private schools or minority institutions from having TELUGU as a medium. He also said, TELUGU will still be taught in schools as a Language.

Mr Viswanathan further added, India is an amazing country with diversity. Without English we Indians, will be in islands. It would bring an “irreversible harm” if the decision can’t be taken forward, as our upcoming generations will not be able to speak fluent English.

Opposing the argument, Mr Gopal Sankarnarayanan a Senior Advocate, who appeared on the behalf of petitioners who has filed a Caveat application, said - the question is one of guardian’s choice. He said, the State Government had taken away the consent of Telugu- Speaking People to send their children to a Telugu Medium School.

He further said, it is illogical that Private Schools & Minority Schools can teach both languages, however Government Schools will only give lessons in English language.

After hearing the arguments, the Supreme Court listed the matter for next hearing on September 25.

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