Place Of English In School Curriculum
The value of the study of English in India–
(A) Place of English before independence-The history of English in India goes back to pre-independence days when our country was ruled by the Britishers. At that time, this language enjoyed a royal place of importance because-
(i) It was the official language of courts and administration.
(ii) It was the medium of instruction in colleges.
(iii) It was a compulsory subject.
(iv) It was the medium of examination.
(B) Place of English after independence-After independence drastic changes came up in regarding the place of. English of India. Since it was the language of the rulers who had exercised cruelties over Indians, the first reaction was to dethrone English from its exalted position. As a consequence-
(i) Hindi in Devnagri script was declared the official language of the union by Indian Constitution. In order to give Hindi sufficient time to replace English as an official language, English was declared to continue as an associate language for a period of 5 years. Till 1965.
(ii) Regional languages became the medium of instruction.
(iii) English ceased to be a compulsory subject.
(iv) English did not remain the medium of instruction.
(v) The state governments started using regional languages in administration. It is obvious that English did not have the same place after independence which it had before independence.
No doubt, English is a foreign language, but it still has great importance in our school curriculum because chance’s of advancement in ones career. English will continue to have an important place in our schools in future also and due to its widespread use and demand its global acceptability are linked to it.
However, the following points should be born in mind while inducing English language in school curriculum.
(1) It should be taught according to the needs of students.
(2) It should be taught for its practical utility. The literacy aims should not be emphasised.
(3) At college level, it should be divided in two parts. One part should deal with practical aims and the other with English literature.
(4) English terminology should be used in Science as well as technical subjects, because this terminology has assumed international importance.
(5) The teaching of English should be a means to an end and not an end in itself. It should be taught as a language and learnt as a language.
(6) English should be used as a medium of examination in the following ways-
(a) For all subjects who are taught in English, it should be the medium of examination.
(b) There should be a simple language test in English for those students who want to learn its simple use.
(c) When a point is not understood in other languages, it should be clarified in English.
(9) English should be used as a medium of social conversation in the following ways-
(i) Everyone should be allowed to converse in English in a society of educated persons.
(ii) English can be gainfully used as a medium of conversation with foreigners.
A modem Indian educationist has quite aptly stated, “English language to be taught in our schools should be simple and utilitarian. All that we can do in schools is to lay the foundations of English and set the ball rolling. We must keep our aims and objectives clear in order to make English a language of practical and permanent value to our child ran. But our teaching of English should not become dull, insipid lifeless. We must Endeavour to make our teaching of English very ting, attractive and, if possible, inspirational.”
Whatever arguments may be advanced for doing away with teaching of English in India, its value and importance cannot be erestimated. English is one of the most developed languages of the orld. As such, it has always been a source of development in all the hers of human activities. We may be able to translate English medical, scientific and technological terms into Hindi and regional languages, but if we give up the study of English, we cannot keep pace the scientific progress of the western countries. Much can be said and against the abolition or retention of English as a subject of study Indian. Schools. We can arrive at a conclusion only when we study results that will follow its abolition.
In case, we abolish the teaching of English in our schools, we have to face the following consequences-
- We live in an age of science and we cannot acquire scientific technological knowledge without the knowledge of English.
- English is the language of Anglo Indians and the second language of almost all the educated persons. Hence, its abolition wills a great injustic to them.
- In the words of K.M. Munshi, “English should not be neglected and discarded as long as another language has been eloped to its accuracy so as to assume the place of English all over country.”
- In abolishing the teaching of English, the standard of education will deteriorate. Just compare the mental attainment of the vinous generation with that of the present one. We cannot claim that knowledge which the older people at our age possessed. Take example of Indian universities. Everywhere, we find a general terioration in the standards of education, because English is being given a step-motherly treatment.
- Supporting the retention of English, the Secondary Educational Commission writes: “We should not look at the matter as most extreme nationalist. Moderation and cool headedness coupled with the objective outlook contribute to the necessity of the moment.”
- By acquiring knowledge of English, we can gain access to the literature of the world. All the great and good books of all the countries have been translated ·into English. By reading them we can become familiar with ideas of great thinkers.
- Only by expressing our ideas in English, we can contribute to the various schools of thought of the world. What we think can be best appreciated only when we expresses our thought in English. Tagore rose to the height of his fame only when his Gitanjali was translated into English and read by the English knowing people in different parts of the world.
- Some people advocate that Hindi or regional language should take the place of English as a language of the world. It requires years of ceaseless effort to bring any Indian language to the level of English but by that time English will become richer in quantity and quality both.
- English is the only language which can enable us to remain in contact with the outside world. Naturally, in the absence of knowledge of English, we will become stagnant and lose that place of domination in terms of the use of English among the Asians.
Advantages Of Retaining English In School Curriculum
There are many advantages of retaining English in our school curriculum. Some of the advantages of retaining it in schools are as follows-
(1) English is a language closer to Indians than any other language.
(2) The study of English has given us access to a vast and rich literature.
(3) Our great men are the products of English instruction.
(4) It is an internal tonal language through which we can exchange our news with the outer world.
(5) English has established a link with western science and technology. So, it can bring to us vast stores of knowledge in science and technical subjects, which have been fully developed in the western countries.
(6) English has influenced Indian languages in many ways. Their style has improved and their grammar has become more scientific due to the influence of English language on them.
(7) Study of English has given the opportunities to Indians for good employment inside the country as well as in foreign lands.
(8) English has served and i still serving as a common language for all Indians different parts of the county. Thus, it helps to bring together people living in different parts of our country.
(9) English is a developed language and so it is a source of development in every walk of life.
(10) English is widely used in all transactions and activities in trade and industry. Hence, it can be helpful to those in the field .
(11) It is a linguafranca of the world. So, we should give it due importance in our school curriculum. It should be retained in our school curriculum as a second language at primary, middle, secondary, and senior secondary levels.