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

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.