UPSC ranker's Telugu bid sparks debate on language
Deccan Chronicle| Donita Jose
Mr Krishna's education has been in Telugu.
With UPSC rank holder Gopala Krishna choosing to give his qualifying interview in Telugu, a fresh debate has started on whether it makes more sense to learn in your mother tongue or in English. (Representational image)
Hyderabad: With UPSC rank holder Gopala Krishna choosing to give his qualifying interview in Telugu, a fresh debate has started on whether it makes more sense to learn in your mother tongue or in English. Mr Krishna’s education has been in Telugu. Since that has not become a deterrent for him being selected by the UPSC, propounders of regional language becoming the medium of instruction have got fresh grist to feed on now.
Teachers on ground share that teaching students in their mother tongue is more effective as they learn faster and express better as they don’t have to learn a new language. UNESCO in their Education for All campaign also pushes for education in the mother tongue to ensure that children understand what they learn. "Students learning in English medium have less parental support in the academics as the parents sometimes do not speak the language themselves. The education could become superficial as the child may struggle to understand what is taught", said Ms Aradhana C, vice-principal of Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Marredpally.
"We have both Telugu medium and English medium at our school, but the number of students opting for English medium is double", observed Ms Aradhana. The situation is similar in most schools. "We take in students from grade I. Some of them are first generation English learners as well. Though in the initial stages it is difficult for them to cope, in a span of three years they pick up the language and they can soon understand concepts", said Hyderabad Public School principal Dr Narasimha Reddy. He is of the opinion that if English is not inculcated from childhood, future integration may prove unsuccessful.
"There should be conducive space for the child to learn in English, with his peers, teachers and parents taking equal initiative," says Sunitha Rao, Principal, Delhi Public School, Nacharam. Teachers also admit that English has turned into an aspirational language, with better job prospects prompting parents to place their wards into English medium schools. "In the end we have to admit that English is a global language which would fetch more opportunities," said Ms Sunitha. "Education in mother tongue should only be till elementary, primary level after which English must be incorporated so that the child can integrate into the society", said Daniel Umi from Aid Et Action.