Hyderabad: With English increasingly
becoming the preferred language of education even among
students hailing from poorer sections, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to lay emphasis on the language right
from Class I in its schools.
English will now be taught as the second language from
Class I from 2011-12 academic year, Minister for Primary
Education Sake Sailajanath said.
"The basic idea is to provide access to children from
poorer sections as well as rural areas to English education
right from Class I rather than Class III (the current policy),
so that they can compete with students of private schools,"
A report by the Regional Institute of English (RIE),
(Bangalore) has established that the percentage of enrolment
of students in Government schools has drastically reduced from
84.48 per cent to 55.72 per cent in primary and upper primary
schools, whereas admissions in the private residential schools
increased from 17.52 per cent to 44.28 per cent in the period
from 1995-96 to 2009-10 in Andhra Pradesh.
In respect of Telugu medium, enrolment percentage in
Class I to Class X for the period 2000-01 to 2009-10 in
Government schools reduced from 83.47 per cent to 65.54 per
cent, while English medium enrolment increased from 13.77 per
cent to 31.66 per cent.
"It was observed that most parents in rural areas are
withdrawing their children from Government Telugu medium
schools due to lack of English teaching," the report noted.
RIE has recommended introduction of English from Class
I without making it a burden for the children to learn it most
effectively in the early years.