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Old 28th March 2010, 10:29   #1
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Default English medium vs vernacular medium

A debate is raging in my home state about education in the vernacular medium vs English medium. The average guardian's perception of the English medium products being smarter and more employable has resulted in the mushrooming of private English medium schools in every nook and corner of the state. The ability of the students to read and write properly in the mother tongue (Assamese for most) is seen to be ignored in most of those English medium schools. On the other hand the vernacular medium schools are mostly state run and due to rampant corruption and nepotism during employment of teachers the credibility of most of those schools are at the lowest ebb.

There is one private school in Guwahati (established about 15 year back) where the medium of instruction is Assamese and the overall quality of teachers is good. The good thing about the school is that English (both spoken and written) is given due importance right from the primary level and I have met many students from that school who have no inhibition in speaking in English. I believe that the need of the hour is to revamp the Govt. schools taking this private school as the model.

I was educated in an Assamese medium school in a small town of Assam (in late 70s & early 80s). English was taught there in the old fashioned way: making us learn grammar and translations. Writing part was well taken care of but there was zero emphasis on spoken English. In my case, it was not too difficult to acquire the fluency of spoken English once I went out of the state for higher education.

I would appreciate comments on the above from the esteemed BHPians.
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