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 ENGLISH LANGUAGE : ITS VALUE, IMPORTANCE, AND NECESSITY IN OUR SCHOOL EDUCATION.

 

"English is our major window into the modern world. "

By J. Nehru

"English is a language of international commerce, it is the language of diplomacy and it contains many rich literacy treasures, "

By M. K. Gandhi

English is the first global Lingua Franca. In today's modern world , the English language has become a part and parcel of every field , be it communication , business, science, information-technology, entertainment and so on. 

Nobody can deny the importance of English as an international language. We can establish social, economic, political, and cultural relations with other countries of the world, only through the English language. Therefore, we cannot ignore English as a subject in our curriculum. If we do so, then we will shut ourselves up within the four walls of our own nation. This will bring about our decay and downfall. The same will happen in science and technological inventions too.

It is found that a controversy about this language, its importance, and study is often raised at various levels. Some are of the view that English should be boycotted in our country because it's a foreign language, so it will be a great waste of time and energy to learn this language. They believe that it is only through their mother-tongue a child can learn and express her/his ideas and feelings.

Though English plays a vital role in our lives, yet after Independence  people protested against English in schools. People raised their voice against the English language due to the following reasons : -
1. People should love their mother tongue.
2. Use of mother tongue incited a feeling of nationalism in Indian minds. 

Besides these, a group was there who were in favour of implementing English in our curriculum. Their arguments were in favour of the English language - 
1. English is the only language by which we can express views to the entire world.
2. Its study imbibes a healthy relationship between different nations of the entire world and develops an  international understanding among the people.
3. India is a country of many languages and therefore, English serves as a common language.

 So, it is clear from the above points that English has a vital place in our progress and development. We should give  proper emphasis on our mother-tongues , but at the same time, English should be added to our curriculum.

Now a question arises in our mind --  is English important for all the students at a school in our country. Different educationists and great leaders of India have been giving different opinions about the importance and role of English in India. The importance of English in our country is to be viewed in the context of the past... before and after Independence.

In the pre-Independence era, English played a vital role. Our country India was ruled by the British for  one hundred and sixty years. The system of English in education was introduced in 1835. Gradually Indians were attached to the system due to the opportunities it made available. Thus, English became a politically superimposed language and played a crucial role in school education.

After Independence, we Indians could not ignore this language because of its importance at the administrative level. But now, a strong feeling has arisen among the Indians to wipe out English from all levels and to use local languages as a medium of instruction and administration. Various education commissions by the government of India have recommended the progressive switch over to the mother tongue. We should give top priority to our mother tongue. Yet the importance of English for Indian students cannot be ignored. The importance of Indian students should be realized in the fact that it is an international language, a link language, a library language, and it is considered to be the window to the rapid progress of science and technology. If we give up this language, then our nation will not be able to keep pace with other countries. English is the standard language of an international conference. It is the language of the United Nations Organization. The knowledge of this language makes a person a citizen of the global village.  

Now a days , English has a place in linguistic structure on many occasions, people usually use English for communication. In different states of India, English is introduced from class VI and is compulsory. But there is a non-linear approach regarding this language in school-curriculum from state to state and in the duration and intensity of the program instruction. Some states emphasize English as a core subject while others take it as an optional subject. The recommendations suggested by the Kothari commission give rise to two types of English at school stages. The first type is that those who are interested in learning English can learn it as a compulsory subject throughout the classes. Another provision is also there as suggested by the commission, that those students who have no interest  can study English from class VI up to Class X only. 

In our state Assam, Assamese is considered to be one of the official and administrative languages. The National Education Policy of 2020 makes mother tongue compulsory as medium of instruction till Class V in all schools. Students of Assam are generally poor in English as reflected by the results of public examinations. The teacher is often seen to put the blame entirely on the students for their failure to acquire an effective knowledge of the language. Unfortunately, improper and defective teaching is at the root of this problem. Teaching a foreign language requires proper knowledge, training, experience, and devotion on the part of the teacher. 

At the end of the discussion, we come to an end that English is an important subject that we cannot ignore to cope ourselves up with the progressive scientific and technological advancements.

By, 

Dulumoni Kalita Ojah
Assistant Teacher
Hajo Boys' senior Basic School.
Educational Block-Hajo

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