Experts skeptical of English medium plan

Experts skeptical of English medium plan

The government seems hell-bent on introducing English medium in government schools, despite facing criticism to the move.

A premier institute in the city has advised the government to proceed cautiously in this regard.

Citing national and international studies, the Regional Institute of English, South India, has opined against this move and said it would only hamper the learning process in children, besides contributing to the dropout rate.

They have not only sought introduction of English medium in a phased manner if needed, but have also cautioned against introducing English medium from class I itself.

From class VI

A note from the institute says, “We support the development of English language skills among children alongside the development of children’s home languages (mother tongues) and the state language. Hence, English may be taught very effectively by a qualified and competent teacher as a language/subject from grade 1, retaining the medium of instruction (Kannada/home language) as at present. English may be the medium of instruction from class VI. If it is absolutely necessary, English may be introduced as medium of instruction from class IV.”

The Institute has drawn from studies on the implementation of English medium in other states.

Separate section

It says Karnataka could take a cue from Tamil Nadu. A different section can be created, wherein students who feel confident and have interest in enrolling themselves in English medium benefit and they do not feel deprived of the opportunity, because of financial constraints. This, they believe, will give the students liberty to choose the medium of instruction.

It has suggested that the state begin English classes in subjects such as Social Studies to begin with, as it would make it easy for students to get accustomed to learning in the language as against Mathematics or Science.

Special classes

Experts at the institute, on condition of anonymity, said there was a need to ensure support in the form of special classes to students at the transit stage. They have advised that students with proficiency in both English and Kannada be part of the transformation process.