English-Medium Schools Essential, Say Parents, Principals

English-Medium Schools Essential, Say Parents, Principals

While the NCERT chief calls English-medium an obsession, the principals and parents believe it’s a necessity.

Sunidhi VijayUpdated: Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 10:56 PM IST
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English-Medium Schools Essential, Say Parents, Principals | Unsplash

Several English-medium school principals and parents of students enrolled in those have expressed their differences with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) chief DP Saklani’s views on English as the medium of education.

Saklani criticises obsession with english-medium school

Saklani was recently quoted by the PTI saying that parents remain obsessed with English-medium schools even though many don’t have trained teachers. The NCERT chief also claimed that English as a medium of education has deprived students of knowledge and further alienated them from their roots and culture.

Calling the obsession over English-medium schools, “no less than suicide”, Saklani stressed the need to impart knowledge in one’s mother tongue rather than English. 

Principals' reaction

However, several principals and parents believe that English as a medium of education is necessary to prepare students to face the world as English is a universally spoken language.

“All the teachers in my school are trained. We also conduct a lot of training workshops for teachers like deadline management training and classroom management techniques, among others. Even CBSE provides the teachers with compulsory training opportunities,” said Sunayana Awasthi, the principal of Kanakia International School. She further commented that learning English does not necessarily alienate students from their cultural roots. 

Suma Das, the principal of Pawar Public School, mentioned that although she agrees with the NCERT chief, her personal opinion entails teaching the local language alongside English. “Unfortunately, English is the global language and if students have to compete at the international level, not knowing English will make them handicapped. People tend to give examples of Russia and China but even they have started teaching English,” Das said. 

She further highlighted that even though higher education institutions are allowing students to use the local language to write exams and other native languages such as Sanskrit are given importance, it is still not enough. “Learning English from an early age is beneficial for students who want to study abroad and move further in their career professionally. Local language should be made compulsory along with English,” she said, adding that Indian culture must be imbibed in our students so that they do not blindly follow the Western culture. 

Parents' reaction

Parents echoed a similar opinion about English and said that admitting their children to English medium schools is not an obsession but a necessity.

“The only reason I want my children to study in English-medium schools is because of the career growth that they offer. One cannot deny the fact that very few students from government schools secure admission to IITs, IIMs or foreign universities. Why then will I deprive my child of broader aspects? In today's day and age, English medium is a necessity,” said Pratik Gupta. He added that Indian roots and culture should be promoted in schools in the form of literature and history. “Children should be taught about our history and literature more widely, which is when they will stay rooted to Indian values,” he added. 

Another parent, Anand Joshi said that studying in English medium schools will not take away culture from students. “I don’t think it will make a difference if a student is learning Ramayana in English, the major point here is that he/she will still learn about our culture. English is just a language and not a culture. English also serves as sort of a common language.”

Abhishek Yadav, another parent, echoed similar thoughts saying that the students talk in their mother tongue at home, and English is important for students to grab a greater avenue. “I believe that English has become one of the Indian languages now, it is understood as much if not more than any other regional language. It is also about tradition since if a grandfather or father has studied in an English-medium school, they will not enrol their children into other mediums and rightly so,” Yadav added.

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