Top court, however, refuses to stay High Court order against G.O.

The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to examine whether Andhra Pradesh can insist on making English the medium of instruction in schools.
A Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud will delve into whether imposing English on a multitude of schoolchildren, whose language of instruction is their mother tongue, will amount to depriving them of an effective education guaranteed to them under Article 21A (fundamental right to education) of the Constitution.
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The Andhra Pradesh government has approached the Supreme Court challenging its State High Court decision to strike down a government order of November 2019 which made 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.
Senior advocate K.V. Vishwanathan, for the State, hailed the government order as a progressive measure.
It is progressive and practical. People are today moving out of government schools. Important to note that if not for English, I would not have been able to address the court. English is important, Mr. Vishwanathan submitted.
He said 95% of the parents wanted English to be the medium of instruction. Many who are unable to afford a private school education welcome the introduction of English as the medium of education in government schools.
Serious prejudice will be caused if we do not implement this, Mr. Vishwanathan said, seeking a stay of the April order of the High Court.
Justice Chandrachud referred to how Section 29(2)(f) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009 says the medium of education shall, as far as practicable, be in the childs mother tongue.
Justice Chandrachud suggested the High Court might have had this provision in kind when it struck down the government order in April.
Mr. Vishwanathan said the Supreme Court should interpret the phrase as far as practicable in the Section.
The court issued notice but refused the States plea to stay the High Court order. The Bench ordered the case to be listed after three weeks.
Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, for the petitioners who had approached the High Court and now respondents in the top court, said the government order stripped the right of choice from the parents and the students.
This is about choice which is being taken away from the parents and children. Telugu-speaking schools are being replaced with English medium. The State should be fostering its mother tongue, Mr. Sankaranarayanan submitted.