ROLE OF IMPORTANCE OF ENGLISH IN EDUCATION
I was quite inquisitive upon the passing of New Education Policy. The best change I would say is that the NEP puts focus on students’ mother tongue. While as the medium of instruction it retains the three-language formula but also says that no language would be imposed and recommends only the mother tongue as medium of instruction. It states that children learn quickly in their home language. Ideas can better be communicated when they are allowed to function through the mother tongue.
“Wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language, mother tongue, local language or the regional language. Thereafter, the home or local language shall continue to be taught as a language wherever possible. This will be followed by both public and private schools," the policy states.
True that English is the global language however enforcing English above concept building is not a wise idea. Let us analyse the role that English language plays in Indian education system.
India is a Multilingual and Multicultural country. Therefore, the NEP points it out correctly and naturally as mother tongue for the purpose of education. It is solely the need for a common language for interaction that has led to the learning of English.
English language no doubt plays an indispensable role in Indian education, economics, business, and trade. This justifies why it is also the language of instruction in all the Universities and colleges across the country as we want the youth to be proficient with a language upon which our economy relies on.
Although English is a foreign language, to maintain a global footprint it occupies a unique position in the Indian educational system. English in both forms spoken and written are given a very high priority in the Indian educational system. The elite society in India who can afford to, sends their children to English-medium schools and even the section who cannot afford aspires to send their children to an English medium school since English is seen as a language that opens all future avenues more than hold on any of the subjects.
Globalization emphasises that one must have a good English vocabulary and sound communication skills which is justified however what is not justified is the scenario that one needs to prove their skills in English to obtain a job and that knowledge of subject and command into the subject of job is no more the major criteria to secure a job. It is unfair to pressurize English communication up to that extent that it becomes the backbone of one’s resume while applying for a job. Statistics indicate that “How to learn English” keyword is searched on Google monthly with approx. 45% people searching in India. Keeping abreast with world is certainly good however staying under pressure to be proficient with a language to maintain global position is what should be avoided. A balance between proficiency at communicating and subject knowledge should be considered the key to survival in the cut- throat competitive environment we are in.