Students prefer English medium, decry being forced into learning in Telugu
There are hardly any takers from the students’ community for the UGC plea to state governments to enforce the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 whereby medium of language had to be in the mother tongue.
Ahead of International Mother Language Day, which is observed on February 21, students pursuing higher education in Telangana were hesitant because ‘a Telugu medium degree reduces prospects of getting a good job.’
It is because of career prospects that students prefer a degree in English medium, said Prof. R. Limbadri from the Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE).
The issue cropped up after UGC chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar’s letter to all Governors and Chief Ministers, urging them to encourage teaching and textbooks in the mother tongue even in higher education. He expressed concern at the unavailability of textbooks and study materials in local languages.
Prof. Limbadri said that study material was available for Intermediate and most degree courses in Telugu. However, students don’t patronise them.
“The students want to go abroad, get placed in good colleges and get better job opportunities, which all require them to be proficient in English language. Even though we encourage them and provide all the material needed in Telugu, they prefer English,” he said.
He pointed out that in the last few years even the government has been urging faculty members to teach in English.
On making available Telugu study material for professional courses, he said no such request had been made. However, the department is ready to provide the material. He added that out of 70,000 students in higher education, over 50,000 opt for computer-based courses only.
A second year degree student, Usha Uppula, said that reputed colleges, companies and organisations will not even let people step in if they do not know how to read, write and speak in English. “We do learn the subjects in Telugu if needed. The professors teach in Telugu and rarely in English. However, we want to learn the English language to get better paying jobs,” she said.