SC Issued Notice on the Plea Challenging HC Order Cancelling Govt. Order To Convert All Govt. Schools in English Medium

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The Supreme Court received a Petition. The Petition challenged the Order passed by the Andhra Pradesh HC. The Order cancelled the Government Orders which sought to implement English as a compulsory medium of instruction. The Order was for the primary level in all the government schools of the State. 

Background

On 15th April, Andhra Pradesh HC quashed a Government Order to implement English as a compulsory medium of instruction in all the government schools. The Order demanded to implement at the primary level.

The HC held that –

“The decision of the Government, converting the medium of instruction from Telugu to English medium from Standards I to VI or I to VIII as the case may be, en-bloc, is against the National Policy, on Education Act, 1968 and various other reports, therefore, it cannot be accepted, hence, the impugned G.O, it deserves to be set aside,” the high court has held.

The HC disposed of two Petitions. An Assistant Professor for General Medicine at ASRAM College filed these Petitions. Contentions made before the HC were that a recommendation made by the UNESCO and the Delhi Declaration and Framework for Action, Education for All Submit, 1993, that mother tongue is the best medium of instruction for the children to perform better.

Submissions

On the behalf of the State, Senior Advocate KV Vishwanathan appeared. The State argued that this is a progressive measure, the stay should be necessarily implemented with the notice. 

Further, the State mentioned that the action mechanism is all set for and the stay is important. 

Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayan appeared for the Respondent. He submitted that it is a matter of choice. English mediums schools replacing Telugu speaking schools devoids the parents and children from making a choice. 

Further, he stated –

“The state should be fostering its mother tongue.” 

Court’s Observation

Justices DY Chandrachud, KM Joseph & Indu Malhotra heard the matter.

The Bench observed that –

“The HC order and said that Section 29(2)(f) of the RTE Act stipulates that the medium will mean that ordinarily, the medium should be in the mother tongue “so far as it is applicable” unless not possible. “It seems the HC has taken this into account,”

Furthermore, the Court stated that –

“The Government order is violative of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution in so far as it infringes the ‘right to practice any profession freely’ of linguistic minority institutions to impart education in their minority languages.”

“The restrictions, imposed by the G.O., on all the managements would cover the educational institution run by the private linguistic minority management and such an act may fall, to affect the running of the institution, in violation of Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution,” 

Court’s Decision

The Supreme Court declined the plea to pass an interim stay on the HC order. The Court fixed the date on 25th September to consider the Prayer for stay.


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