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

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Learning and Language

In low-cost private schools in India, English as a medium of instruction attracts children of poorly educated parents with a low-income background. A primary survey in Delhi and the National Capital Region finds that mediating primary-level education through an unfamiliar language poses language barriers and adversely affects the learning outcome. The agency in using English for communication is limited. The learning deficit is undetected through successive grades in the primary level due to translation- and memorisation-based teaching processes, and focus on textbook-based exercises. The study finds that parents do not get a fair exchange in return for committing their limited resources towards education.

Breaking the Chaturvarna System of Languages

The Indian language policy is informed by a pull towards unilingual identity, inspired by the European model of nation state that is predicated on the homogeneity of its people. Language hegemony works at two tiers in India—at the state and the centre. The Constitution fails to pay more than lip service to the linguistic plurality and multilingual ethos of the peoples of India and has created a chaturvarna (four-tier order) of languages, with Sanskrit, Hindi, the scheduled, and the non-scheduled languages occupying various rungs of the ladder. English—the language of the conquerors—being outside the chaturvarna system has emancipatory potential.

Gender Agenda

In grammatical terms there is no gender system in English, as with many other languages like Bangla, Turkish, Korean and Thai--but unlike Hindi, which boasts grammatical gender in all its glory.

Education : Wheel Turns Full Circle

Wheel Turns Full Circle Early this January the West Bengal government gave a three-month extension to the Ranju Gopal Mukherjee committee with the brief to develop an
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