ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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At the First Sign of Backsliding on Fourth Plan-Without Aid, if Need Be

strength directiy from the adult franchise which is as innocent of English in the Hindi States as it is of Hindi and of English in the non-Hindi States. Primary education which is entirely in the regional language has been vastly expanded. English has been given a much lower place in the curriculum of the secondary schools. At the same time, far greater numbers than before are reaching out for college and university education. To meet this expanding demand, the number of colleges has gone up and the standard of college education has gone down in an inverse proportion. That perhaps could not have been helped, but the situation has been made a great deal worse because of the inadequate knowledge of English of the: students who now go to colleges where the medium of instruction continues, by and large, to be English. This links up with what has been said before about the administration and with the social status which the English-educated still enjoy and the economic opportunities which English education is still believed to offer. In colleges which offer courses through the medium of English as well as the mother-tongue, the brighter and the more ambitious students invariably opt for the English medium. In Madras, for example, Tamil-medium colleges find it difficult to get enough students. However one may decry the craze for English education, so long as better job opportunities, real or fancied, are offered by it it will not be snuffed out by any sort of exhortation. That brings us to the heart of the matter, the purpose and aim of education. If it is to enable the students to develop mentally, help them to think for themselves and to use their minds, then, of course, education at all stages has to bo through the medium of the mother- tongue. Not that other languages should not be taught. For those who aspire to higher education and specialisation at the university stage, a good knowledge of English is absolutely essential and depending on the degree and subject of specialisation, perhaps also a knowledge of one or more other European languages. But where does Hindi come in?

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