Introduction of English Medium Education in all Government Schools : An Essential need of the Hour
1. Need to introduce English Medium at Primary School level : There is a great need for the introduction of English medium at primary school level in Government institutions.
|S.No.||Pros in introduction of English medium at Primary level||Cons in introduction of English medium at Primary level|
|1||Better access to future opportunities||Local languages are ignored|
|2||Better way of communication with people of other regions||Loss of heritage|
|3||Brisk and dynamic learning abilities can be fostered at higher levels of education||Inability to comprehend the concepts quickly due to lack of proper exposure to the English language|
|4||Gap in between the rich and poor in the society could be bridged effectively||Difficulty in getting academic support at home and local surroundings as of now.|
3. Is the public in favour of English Medium education ? : Certainly yes. Vast majority of the underprivileged public in rural areas are very much keen on introduction of English medium education at primary level in Government educational institutions.
4. All ready we have English Medium in Success, KGBV and Model Schools. Are they not enough ? : Although we have English medium in the above said institutions, the accessibility to these is very much limited. For instance, KGBVs and Success Schools have got English medium from VI Class onwards only at the Upper Primary and High School class levels. Then how about parents who aspire that their wards should get a better chance for schooling under English medium right from elementary level? Further, on completion of elementary education in local language medium, if they wish their children to switch over to English medium for higher classes in U.P. section as of now, it would be lagging factor for their children to cope up with the new language ( English ) and hence there has been a drastic drop out rate at U.P. level falling this as prime reason.
5. Do you think that English Medium is the gateway for Higher Education ? : Certainly yes. English language as it is known, the “the Window to the World”. Undoubtedly, it can be said that with the knowledge of English, one can get into touch with lot of educational and employment opportunities in this vast world.
6. Do you think that introduction of English Medium Education at Primary level will hamper the Education in mother tongue ? : No. The very notion of such kind is retrogressive for the development of our country. Establishment of English medium schools will in no way hamper the education in mother tongue because it is purely the will and wish of the parent whether he intends to join his ward in such a school or not. When there is no compulsion, the parent is at ease to join his child anywhere.
7. Why do we need more English medium Schools ? : We need more English medium schools because of the changing trends in the present education and employment system. The children have to be equipped with the skills of better communication right from their childhood in order to bag the opportunities in their future.
8. Does the introduction of English Medium Education by Government lead to improvement in enrolment ? : It is quite obvious that the introduction of English medium education by the Government enhances the enrolment of more number of rural and poor children into the mainstream school as it attracts the underprivileged parents who cannot afford to pay the mammoth fees in private schools or the Corporate schools for getting their children educated on par with the affluent and middle class bourgeoisie children.
9. Will English medium education have more employment opportunities than Telugu medium Education ? : The answer is certainly yes. Telugu being one of the local or regional languages, has got a limited scope pertaining to employment opportunities when compared to the International language, English. Most of the Central Government and other State Government jobs and Private Companies which offer employment opportunities seek the candidates who are well versed in English to serve their institutional requirements on recruitment. The Public Sector Undertakings, several Central Government organizations, the Defense and Security Departments, the Research Organizations, Insurance Companies, Banks and all other sectors along with the two Telugu speaking States’ Public Service Commissions prudishly made it mandatory to have good proficiency in English language for the candidates during the recruitment process intended for appointing right persons in the competing positions which decide the quality of governance and lucid functioning.
10. If English medium is introduced/extended in Government schools, what needs to be done to improve the capacities of the present teachers for teaching in English medium ? : Primarily, all the teachers who intend to work in English medium have to be identified through a screening test conducted keeping in view their expressive (presentation) capabilities in teaching particular subjects in English medium. Teachers who are having English medium background during their studies right from childhood to completion of graduation have to be given first preference. Those who are selected have to be placed in their comfortable zone for postings through counseling process with special preference to the service they have rendered in the past. This gives ample chance to them to excel in their efforts in the process of teaching in a congenial and peaceful and tranquil mood thereby successfully deriving the results required. Those teachers are to be provided good training so as to mould their strategies in accordance to the departmental framework parameters laid down by the Government. At each level right from the elementary classes, close monitoring system has to be set up and executed through positive and corrective strategies without hurting the feelings of the teachers; hitherto empowering the teachers by encouraging their efforts by sanctioning short-term incentives and conducting felicitations for the committed teachers which would certainly boost up the spirits that rekindle the zeal in the teachers. A separate monitoring mechanism including eminent professors and educationists along with the hierarchy of administration would help in fulfilling this objective successfully. The teachers have to be provided with sample study material in each subject along with a handbook to guide them in effective teaching-learning process through English medium. Also periodical assessment surveys have to be conducted without any lopsidedness to evaluate the system and keep it tuned to encounter the future challenges.
11. Do you think that English medium has to be started from Class I onwards ? or from Class VI onwards like Navodaya and Model Schools ? : Yes. English medium if started from Class I would certainly yield better results than implementing from any other higher class. The learning abilities in the children can be easily moulded if it is introduced from Class I or even Nursery sections. As advocated by eminent educationists, the habit of thinking in English can only be imbibed as and when the child is exposed to English environment from a tender age. This doesn’t mean that the child should be deprived of the opportunity of learning the basics in his/her mother tongue. However in order to foster selfconfidence in the child to get ready to set the pace for the future challenges, the child has to be trained up to think in English rather than fumbling for words for his expression which is a sign of retrograde and dwindling educational values as most of the present day youth from rural back ground are suffering due to lack of proper communication skills in English even after completing their graduation in Engineering and other allied courses.
12. Do you think that starting more number of English medium schools is against RTE-2009? : Obviously no. In fact, RTE – 2009 is aimed at achieving the noble target of equipping every child in the country with confidence, skill and readiness to lead a meaningful and productive life that paves a way for establishment of a learned society which is free from social evils. When more number of English medium schools are established by the Government, naturally more number of underprivileged children would be provided ample chances to enjoy the fruits of socialistic democracy in our country which is fast developing to emerge as the Global leader in the future. English medium schools will provide access to better opportunities to so many rural children. Hence it would be a nice thought to establish more number of English medium schools with proper infrastructure and dedicated teaching fraternity by the Government.
13. If children study in English medium, they cannot acquire more comprehension on concepts. Is this true ? : It is absolutely a fallacy as there are more numbers of students who are excelling in their studies at higher level even after getting educated in English medium right from ages. Moreover, when the children are properly taught to think and respond in English language right from primary classes by trained and eminent teachers, it becomes pretty easier for the children to comprehend the concepts in any subject much effectively with lot of confidence.
14. Will the children cope-up in English medium Education right from Primary school level – especially in rural, tribal and hilly areas ? : English language is not at all a hard nut to crack. It is no more a sour Grape fruit for the rural, tribal and hilly area children. It is evident from good number of experiences that majority of the children in Nagaland, Mizoram and other North-eastern States speak English more eloquently than many young Engineering graduates stepping out from rural Engineering colleges in our States. In fact, the point that the official language being English in those states has emphasized the need to learn English and communicate through it is helping them a lot in grabbing opportunities of getting employed all across the country. The question here is not the point of children coping – up with English medium, but by and large the undue phobia in the concerned authorities itself over the introduction of a foreign language as a medium of instruction.
15. Do we need more ICT facilities for implementation of English medium Education ? : Nothing much is required for implementation of English medium schools. Minimum infrastructure with required number of teaching and non-teaching staff with suitable class rooms is sufficient for running English medium schools. With regard to providing the ICT facilities, it would be better if they are provided in a phase-wise manner from time to time as per the situational demands.
16. Do we have suitable environment at school and at home for implementation of English medium ? : Every great success is impossible at first. Every environment is initially not ready for any system to function. It takes a little time for gradual development. However, where there is a will, there is a way! It is a proven fact that quite a good number of Success schools still have no infrastructure till today. But many of them are flourishing considerably well because of the dedication and commitment of the teachers working there and the loyalty shown by the parents and pupils towards English medium education. In this context, it is strongly felt that establishment of English medium schools will certainly invoke lot of enthusiasm among the rural under privileged masses who wish that their children should come up in life comfortably.
17. Do our schools have required resources like Labs, Libraries etc.,? : Yes. With the advent of RVM/SSA and RMSA, most of the rural schools have been drawn on to the track of progress in matters of getting equipped with labs, libraries and sports materials along with the suitable needy articles for empowerment of Girl child in the school. Many a time, the Government has been conducting awareness programmes and bringing enlightenment among the rural voluntary Service oriented organizations to involve themselves in providing help to the educational institutions. RDT organization in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh State is one such service oriented organizations which has provided laboratories and sports materials to many Government schools apart from supplying Bicycles to the enormous number of pupils who have to travel kilometers to reach the school daily and return in the evenings. The Government can take the assistance of such organizations into consideration in launching English medium schools in rural areas.
18. Will English medium paves the way for private tutorials ? : Children studying in English medium schools need more exposure to the language. As such, naturally there is a possibility of emergence of private tutorials within the vicinity of habitations. However, these are helpful to some extent in increasing the study time period for the pupils which is a welcoming aspect. On par with the urban and affluent children, the rural children would also get some opportunities to improvise their scholastic achievements with increased exposure to the language that would certainly help in creating a conducive environment for promoting proper learning process.
19. Should English Medium Education be optional or compulsory ? : English medium Education has to be made purely optional in Government schools. As in the case of Karnataka and Tamilnadu States, mother tongue has to be given preference even in A.P. also. English medium education should be a privilege rather than a compulsive need. It should be left to the discretion of the parent and pupil as well whether he/she is allowed to chose in which medium he/she wants to get educated.
20. Do you suggest to run parallel English Medium sections in the existing schools irrespective of number ? or identify separate school within a short distance as an exclusive English medium school ? : It is better to establish English medium school separately at a short distance from the regular Telugu medium school within the limits of habitation, lest there shall be much disturbance and commotion among the two parallel sections run under the same roof within the same premises which gratuitously hampers the tranquil school atmosphere in both the sections.
Conclusion : –
The Constitution of India guarantees it’s every citizen equal right to educational opportunities through Fundamental Rights. English medium education is the need of the hour today in emerging trends of Global competition. The children irrespective of their habitations -urban or rural, caste – creed – sex and economic status should be provided equal opportunities for comprehensive development of our country. In this context, it is strongly felt that establishment of English medium schools in more / all Government schools would surely be a welcoming decision and a revolutionary step in racing ahead towards progress paving way for shaping India as an all-round developed nation.
Written by K. Chandra Mouli
Read more writings of this author: K.Chandra Mouli