With the implementation of Right To Education Act on 1st April, 2010, education has become a compulsion for every child in India. This has greatly enhanced the quantitative aspect of education with every child getting free education but when it comes to the qualitative aspect, Indian education still has miles to go.
♣ According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2011 there has been a decline in students’ basic reading levels.
♣ The all India figure for the proportion of children in class V able to read a class II level text has dropped from 53.7% in 2010 to 48.2% in 2011.
The low levels of basic reading ability suggested by ASER points to an urgent need to focus on basic learning outcomes. Each state should make realistic, measurable outcomes in reading and understanding that can be understood by teachers and parents. The RTE states that childrens’ progress has to be communicated to parents. Textbook content needs to be reviewed. – Times of India.
English is spoken by more than 300 million native speakers, and between 400 and 800 million foreign users. It is the official language of air transport and shipping; the leading language of science, technology, computers, and commerce; and a major medium of education, publishing, and international negotiation.
In the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) international competition for children’s learning, India came 72nd out of 73 countries.
Educationist Helen Abadzi writes “people must be able to read one word per second, or per 1.5 seconds at the outside, to be functional readers.”
English language is our window to the world. We can learn from others’ experiences. We can check the theories of foreigners against our experience. We can reject the untenable and accept the tenable. We can also propagate our theories among the international audience and readers.
English has thus become an effective means of promoting Indian view of life, and strengthening our cultural identity in the world.
A teacher should herself be aware of what she/he is teaching first. Improving her /his English proficiency, having the required qualifications should be made compulsory especially for the teachers teaching languages. Interest in teaching language is another factor that should also be considered. Lack of qualified teachers is a curse.
Employing a variety of teaching-learning techniques to make learning interesting helps a lot.
Games like scrabble, crossword puzzles, pictionaries, etc should be employed while teaching.
♣ Conduction of literature week comprising of essay writing contests, spelling and pronunciation contests, recitation and reading contests, etc should be encouraged.
♣ Importance on theatre, dramatics, etc should be given.
Usage of dictionary should be made mandatory for the students as well as the teachers. It should not be restricted to the language teachers only.
Active literature clubs, book clubs, reading clubs for teachers as well as students should be initiated.
There are a lot of confusing words in English that look or sound alike but have very different meanings. Teachers should clear these concepts with the students with the help of continuous repetition.