Yogi Adityanath, ABVP spar over English in UP govt schools

The Asian Age.  | Amita Verma

India, Politics

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath has stated that English language should be a medium of education from Class 1 to 4.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath (Photo: PTI)

Lucknow: The Yogi government and the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) seem to be working at cross purposes on the issue of education in Uttar Pradesh.

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath has stated that English language should be a medium of education from Class 1 to 4.

ABVP’s demand comes at a time when Mr Adityanath has been advocating for English language as a medium of instruction from Class I to Class 6 in government schools.

According to ABVP leader Saket Bahuguna, the medium of instruction in government primary schools should be the mother tongue of the region, while English could be taught as one of the subjects. In states such as Maharashtra, popular local dialects could also be a medium of instruction.

The matter will be discussed at the national executive council meeting of ABVP in Lucknow from May 29 toMay 31. There will be around 400 ABVP representatives at the event.

The chief minister, on the other hand, has underlined the need for teaching English, written and spoken, at the primary level so that children can match up to the private school standards. The basic education department has already started identifying teachers who can converse in English and help students go beyond basic spoken sentences in English.

“If our children can learn to write and speak English, they can do better than children in private English medium schools. At present, they lag behind only because of English”, said a senior official.

A senior minister echoed similar sentiments when he said, “We may champion the cause of Hindi but the fact remains that in today’s competitive world, English is becoming even more relevant, especially in the private sector.”

If children form government schools are looking for a career, they must have a working knowledge of English language and we are glad that the chief minister has recognised this. As for the patriotic factor, those who can converse in English are no less patriotic than those who cannot”.

Meanwhile, the ABVP meet will discuss how to curb ‘urban Naxalism’ spreading its tentacles in educational institutions. “Communist organisations have been exposed by the ABVP. There is a section of teachers and students in some universities working as urban Maoists. We will discuss on ways to stop this phenomenon,” said Mr Bahuguna.

He also said that teaching students ‘distorted’ history about Indian heroes and personalities will also be debated. The other issues to be discussed in the meeting would be fee regularisation to make education affordable to economically weaker sections.