Teaching and learning the Telugu language will be compulsory in schools in Telangana from the new academic year, according to a new law. The state’s legislative Assembly passed a bill to enact the law on Saturday.

All parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Telugu Desam Party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), supported the Telangana (Compulsory Teaching and Learning of Telugu in Schools) Act, 2018.

Schools in the state, including those affiliated to the national or international boards, will start teaching the language from Class 1 to Class 10 in a “phased manner” from the academic year 2018-’19, the law says. They will start by introducing the language in Class 1 and Class 6 this year, and later extend to other classes as students move to the next class.

Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Education Kadiam Srihari, who moved the bill, said it is aimed at conserving and promoting the language of the people in the state.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has earlier said the move will help “save the language and protect the culture”.