Skip to main content

Gujarat fails to promote English five years after it launched programme to teach the language via satellite

By Rajiv Shah
Latest data collected by the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), prepared by elite NGO Pratham, has suggested that Gujarat’s five-year efforts to push English among schools has miserably failed. Released on January 13, 2015, the top study has found that just about 9.8 per cent of the children in rural Gujarat, studying in class V, could read English sentences, which is the lowest scorecard compared to the rural areas of all other major Indian states, but Madhya Pradesh (9.6 per cent). The all-India average on this score is 24 per cent, and Kerala tops with a whopping 68.5 per cent.
 The ASER study has further revealed that 26.7 per cent of class VII children in rural Gujarat could read English sentences, as against the all-India average of 38.8 per cent, and just two states’ rural children of class VII perform worse than those of Gujarat – Chhattisgarh (21.5 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (18.3 per cent). The best performing state on this score, again, is Kerala, with 80 per cent of class VII children found to be reading English sentences.
The survey further finds that, of those who could read English sentences, just about 54.8 per cent of rural Gujarat’s class V children, and 69.8 per cent class VII children, could tell the meaning of what they were reading. This is against 62.2 per cent of children of class V and 66.3 per cent children of class VII children telling meaning of English sentences out of those who could read them at the all-India level.
Poor report card of English in Gujarat comes despite the state government's what seemed in 2009 to be  valiant efforts to promote English, "setting aside" the RSS’ ideological reservations towards encouraging the language. The Modi government in 2009 declared it was all set to spread teaching of English in Gujarat's schools with the help of the Educational Satellite of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
At that time, it was declared that more than 20 million children studying in 22,000 government schools of Gujarat would “benefit” from the programme to learn English. The programme had found opposition from Vidya Bharti, the education wing of the RSS, which was opposed to the propagation of English over Gujarati. Modi had then insisted that English had to be  “conquered” first if Gujarat had to emerge as a global player.
In fact, the Gujarat government in 2009 launched a Rs 600-crore project to provide a 42-inch LCD or plasma screen TV sets to directly telecast English lessons to be given by teachers from Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Application and Geo-informatics (BISAG) in Gandhiangar. At that time, already, some 5,000 schools had wide-screen TV sets. Rest of the schools would have to be provided the sets in due course.
Modi’s website, www.narendramodi.in, pointing towards the importance of English, said three years later, in 2012, that to “increase” the knowledge of the English language among Gujarati youth, the state government had started SCOPE (The Society for Creation of Opportunity through Proficiency in English) programmes. “Over two lakh students have acquired proficiency in English so far through this initiative”, it declared, adding English speaking was a “requirement of a Gujarati student”.

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.