India: Teachers oppose move to reduce teaching English for undergraduates
New Education Policy cuts teaching of English and other languages to just one year from the existing three for undergraduate programmes
The move to reduce the teaching of English and other languages to just one year from the existing three for four-year undergraduate programmes under the New Education Policy 2020 has been opposed by teachers of Kuvempu University in Karnataka.
The Forum of College English Teachers (Focet) of the university described the proposal as “illogical, unscientific and extremely unfortunate.” While the move aims to provide more job opportunities to students, it deprives them of learning English, which is essential for jobs,” said the forum.
“Without acquiring linguistic skills, learners would not be able to express their thoughts properly,” pointed out the note from Focet.
“Teaching of languages in new four-year UG courses should be of three years rather than just one year,” it said. The move would be harmful to students, especially those not properly exposed to English at the primary and secondary levels.
“The need of the hour is to expose students more to language learning than reducing it to fewer periods,” added the forum.
Interestingly, in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh, the government is trying to get Telugu medium institutions to switch to English as a primary mode of teaching. Chief minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy directed all government, privately-aided and unaided degree colleges in the state to compulsorily adopt English as the medium of instruction from academic year 2021-22.
“It is essential that these students pursue their undergraduate courses in English medium,” said a recent government release.
“The transition from Telugu medium to English Medium would be easier at the graduation level.” It would also introduce spoken English courses at various levels in the undergraduate courses.
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