Wednesday, January 13, 2016


In spite of our best efforts in teaching English at schools and colleges for the last 60 years since independence why is it that even now we have a VERY LARGE chunk of people in their 30s and 40s unable (and struggling helplessly) to make a simple sentence in English about something which they know very well for eg. their native place, their family, their house, their children etc. Isn't it a BIG FAILURE of our educational system?
Anybody who says that he/she is not aware of the feelings of frustration among our vast majority for not being able to use English in decisive life situations is just not in touch with the reality.
Now the question is why have we failed in making our people good at using English in practical situations that life throws at them? Why can't they communicate in English? Why can't they express their views, ideas and thoughts in English? Why don't they have a voice beyond their own "lingustic comfort zones"?
This problem of educated people in India to communicate in English leads us to a basic question ie., how do we teach English in our institutions? Using text books having stories and other articles. The sentences are already given to the students in their books. They just have to read, write and memorize these sentences. This is the method used in our classrooms starting from schools and then to colleges and universities. There is no time, no space and no NEED for creating your own sentences/expressions/style of communication. Anybody who undergoes such a system of learning English remains an underdeveloped user of English.
And also the way we teach English grammar is by using words like NOUNS, VERBS, PRONOUNS, ADJECTIVES etc. just like the native English people do in their countries. We do not teach grammar in terms of our way of thinking, our thought pattern. So the teaching of grammar remains in our students' minds just that - English Grammar. It simply doesn't become a part of their conscious thought process. And because of this the students are cut off from the world of English mentally and also physically.
Is it right on our part to continue doing this again and again? Don't we have a responsibility towards the citizens of our country? Why can't we really INDIANISE our education system? How many more years do we need to create an educational atmosphere which would be in line with our needs, our way of thinking, our culture, our situations, problems and realities? Isn't it high time to evolve our education so that it becomes a truly ENGAGING experience for the learner by updating it with the requirement of times we live in, thus helping us in getting gainful employment, empowerment and also spiritual enlightenment?


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