SC refuses to stay HC order against compulsory English medium in AP govt schools
The bench said it would look into the merits of the case and consider granting stay on the high court order after going through the counter-affidavits to be filed by the respondents.
The Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to introduce English medium compulsorily in all the state-run schools from 2020-21 academic year received a setback with Supreme Court on Thursday refusing to grant stay on the state high court’s verdict in this regard.
A division bench of the Supreme Court, comprising justice D Y Chandrachud, justice KM Joseph and justice Indu Malhotra, asked the respondents – Sudheesh Rambhotla and Guntupalli Srinivas – to file their counters over the special leave petition filed by the AP government challenging the high court order.
The bench said it would look into the merits of the case and consider granting stay on the high court order after going through the counter-affidavits to be filed by the respondents. It posted the case to September 25 for further hearing.
On April 15, the state high court struck down government order (GO No. 85 Dated November 20, 2019) making English medium education compulsory from classes I to VI in primary, upper primary and high schools under all managements from 2020-21. It was to be gradually extended to each further class from the next consequent academic years.
The high court agreed with the contention of the petitioners that the said GO was ultra vires of the provisions of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 and violative of Articles 14, 21 and 21-A of the Constitution.
The Andhra Pradesh government moved Supreme Court in June challenging the high court’s order. Senior advocate for the government K V Vishwanathan argued that there was no provision in the Right to Education Act that education should be compulsorily done only in the mother tongue.
Stating that introduction of English medium is a progressive decision, the advocate said due to non-availability of English medium in government schools, the parents were forced to send their children to the private schools spending huge money. “As a result, the enrolment in the government schools is coming down,” he argued.
He said the government was willing to establish Telugu medium schools for those who wanted to study in mother tongue and they would also be provided with free transport. He pointed out that a survey conducted by the government revealed that 95% of students and parents wanted English as the medium of instruction.