Hyderabad: About a million junior college students in Telangana will now have to study a new compulsory subject — the Telugu language.
The state Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has announced that like in the schools, classes 11 and 12 in junior colleges will also have to teach Telugu as a compulsory subject.
“No school or college will be permitted without including Telugu Language in its curriculum”, he said.
He announced the decision after reviewing the preparations for the World Telugu conference to be held later this year.
KCR said that the state cabinet will soon pass a resolution to this effect.
So far Telugu was compulsory only from grades 1 to 10, but now the government has decided to extend it to the junior college level.
The Chief Minister said for the students opting for Urdu as second language Telugu should be an optional subject in the junior colleges.
Giving the responsibility of preparing the Telugu text books for all the classes of schools and colleges to the Telugu Sahitya Academy, the Chief Minister said that henceforth the schools will not be able to prepare their own text books.
However, the student community and the parents were unlikely to be enthusiastic about this move as their focus is mostly on preparing for the competitive examinations and scoring higher marks to get admissions into professional courses like engineering and medicine.
“Before going in for such a drastic measure the government should first prepare the mindset of students and the parents and also ready student-friendly text books”, said Dr P Madhusudhan Reddy, president of Government Junior College Lecturers association.
In another major decision the Chief Minister has also directed that all public and private establishments should display their names in Telugu apart from any other languages they want to have on the boards.
Unlike the other southern states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh did not have any such rules to force establishments to write their names in Telugu - until now.
Welcoming the steps for promotion of Telugu, the main opposition Congress’ deputy leader in Telangana Legislative Council, P Sudhakar Reddy, however, said linguistic minorities must be kept in mind in the implementation of the policy.
“Telugu must be promoted. But linguistic minorities need to be kept in mind. Moreover, it is better if the state government convenes an all-party meeting to discuss the issue. It should not be a unilateral decision,” Reddy said.