Amaravati: English will be the medium of instruction for classes 1 to 6 in all schools in Andhra Pradesh replacing native language Telugu, beginning from the next academic year, with Telugu or Urdu being a compulsory subject.

State Principal Secretary (School Education) B Rajsekhar issued an order on Wednesday to convert all classes from 1 to 6 in primary, upper primary, high schools under all managements into English medium from academic year 2020-21.

English medium will be introduced for classes 7 to 10 in the subsequent four years from 2021-22, the order said.

The government initially wanted to make English the medium of instruction from classes 1 to 8 but has now restricted it up to class 6 due to reasons like non-availability of qualified teachers and textbooks.

Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy recently hit out at detractors seeking to oppose the government move.

We will go ahead with English medium schools, come what may. We have to prepare the students to boldly face and stand up to the requirements of the technology-driven world and we should not be found wanting in it.

We should not feel guilty by not preparing the generation-next to face the highly dynamic and technology-driven world, the Chief Minister said.

The mission would be carried forward, with all government schools getting the required infrastructure and skill upgrade, he said, adding English labs would be set up in all schools.

State Education Minister A Suresh said over 68,000 teachers in government-run schools would be given training in English curriculum in tune with the needs.

The Principal Secretary said the Director of State Council of Education Research and Training, in coordination with Commissioner of School Education, would take comprehensive action for online assessment of the current English proficiency levels of the teachers and design appropriate training programmes for enhancing teaching skills in English medium.

In future, qualified candidates with the best proficiency in English medium teaching would be recruited as teachers, Rajsekhar said.