English Should Be Made Compulsory In All Schools From Class 6th Onwards – Govt. Panel On Education
In one of the strongest ever pitch for reforming educational standards in India, a Govt. panel has suggested that English should be made compulsory in all schools, and every student from class 6th onwards should study English as a compulsory subject.
Besides, the panel has recommended that atleast one English language school should exist in every block of the country. There are 6612 blocks in the country, and this single step has the potential to revolutionize education in the country.
The panel which has recommended these suggestions comprised of a group of Secretaries and was named as ‘Group on Education & Social Development’. They put major emphasis on education of English and Science, as they said that English should be made “a compulsory subject in all schools from class 6th onwards” and “at least one English medium school (be set up) in every block along with Science education facility in a radius of 5 kms”.
Can English Improve Lives Of Indians?
In August, 2015, we published a report which stated that 97% of Engineers in India cannot speak English, and as a result, 80% of all Engineers are unemployable as software engineers. This report created massive uproar, as Engineers claimed that English cannot be the sole criteria for judging their capability.
However, the fact of the matter is, English is right now a Universal language, and majority of higher education is in English. Software industry relies on English language, so is Services, ITeS and other computer related industries.
The panel has rightly understood the fact if Indian youth wants to compete against global powers, then they need to study and master over the English language.
The State of English Right Now
As of now, the study of English and other languages is guided by the Three Language Formula as laid down in the National Policy on Education (Parliamentary Resolution) of 1968. As per this ‘formula’, students of Central Board of Secondary Education-affiliated schools need to learn English in their first eight years, meanwhile for students of class 9th to 12th, there is an option to choose between English and Hindi.
Besides, the formula suggests study of English, Hindi and a ‘modern Indian language’ in Hindi speaking states, and study of English, Hindi and a regional language in non-Hindi speaking states.
Way back in 2011, we had reported that proficiency of English speaking among Indians is lower than that of Chinese. However, at the same time, India has one of the largest English speaking population in the World.
English As Compulsory Subject – Political Implications
RSS, which has been the ideological force behind the political decisions of BJP, has been recommending Hindi as the compulsory subject, and had suggested removal of English as a subject from Govt. schools.
RSS-affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas (SSUN) had last year sent a proposal to Ministry of Human Resource Development, requesting that Hindi should be made the medium of teaching from elementary to higher levels, and English should be not be compulsory at any level.
Thus, there is a clear political opposition to the study of English, and it would be interesting to observe how Govt. responds to the suggestions of the high level panel, which wants English language to be the compulsory subject.
Do you believe that making English can solve problems for India? Should English be made compulsory for all students? Do let us know by commenting right here.
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