Turning a new leaf over education sector, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has launched the 'Nadu-Nedu' programme which aims at transforming government schools into vibrant and competitive institutions.
The Chief Minister said that his YSRCP-led state government will overcome all the challenges and clear every hurdle as the goal to meet the requirement of what the fast-changing technology in the world expects from youth, ten years from now.
Addressing the gathering at a school here on Thursday, he said, "Despite the criticism from detractors, we will go with English medium schools as we have to prepare the students to boldly face and meet up the requirements of the technology-driven world. We should not feel guilty. It will be done so that the future generation can be prepared to face the highly dynamic and technology-driven world."
"Change will come only if the right decision is taken at the right time as we are competing with a job market that would be there five, ten or fifteen years from now," he added.
The Andhra Chief Minister also targeted the opposition for targeting him over the launch of the campaign and said, "There has been criticism and detractors have been running a campaign targeting me, but we will carry our mission and the future of the next generation is our top priority. We will transform all government schools with the required infrastructure and up-gradation of skills besides setting up of English labs in addition to providing basic amenities like clean environs, furniture, toilets, running water, compound wall, blackboard, renovation and involve parent committee."
The scheme will be implemented in 15, 715 schools in the first phase and will cover all schools in three years' time with a budget of Rs 12,000 crores. For the first year, Rs 3,500 crores will be spent for the development of the infrastructure.
"With the introduction of English medium from Classes 1 to 6, there are many detractors and those in high positions have been criticising it. They should realise that there is no place for hypocrisy in democracy. They have to introspect before sending their children and grandchildren to government schools or to English Medium schools," he added.
"Such criticisms show that they (opposition) do not practice what they preach. The weaker sections and underprivileged should not be deprived of opportunities and we are providing them with such programmes. The 2011 census revealed that our state illiteracy rate is 33 per cent and to uplift the marginalised sections we have to take bold decisions like switching over to English medium. There would be some difficulties and challenges but have to face and we will overcome," he further stated.
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister also gave examples of people who being benefited from switching to the English language from Telugu saying, "Education Minister Adimoolapu Suresh who studied in Telugu Medium later shifted to English medium and became IRS officer. Next to him was the top bureaucrats Rajasekhar Reddy, and Dhanunjay Reddy both IAS officers who shifted to English medium in search of a better future and made their mark."
He also said that while he was on a 3,648 km padayatra, a couple of parents approached him and complained him about the lack of level playing field as their children are left behind due to the non-availability of avenues. "This was a conscious decision taken after due consideration and visualizing what our future generation requires in the new age of Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Robotics where driverless cars would be coming into vogue."
He also informed that soon the Andhra government will be introducing Amma Vodi on January 9, where they will incentivize mothers to send their children to school. He also said that his government will also take care of the fees reimbursement in all the degree and professional colleges and there will be one-year training for the youth to gear up for the jobs.
"Apart from this, a skill development university will be set up and under its umbrella, all 25 Skill Development Centres will function to have an interface with education and industry. We have created four lakh jobs, of which 1.3 lakh are in government, he said and added: "though the road ahead is bumpy."
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