Uttarakhand has drawn up an ambitious plan to shift the medium of instruction from Hindi to English in the approximately 18,000 government schools in the hill state.
The state’s education minister, Arvind Pandey , told TOI the project would be rolled out in a phased manner, beginning with the introduction of English as the medium of instruction in Class 1 from the 2018-19 academic year.
“We intend to start teaching in English in Class 1 from next year. Gradually , we will change the medium of instruction to English in all classes,” Pandey said.
The minister said it would take a few years to complete the mammoth exercise. “New books in English will have to be arranged for students. We may have to appoint new teachers or train the ones already employed for smooth transition,” he said. Meanwhile, the government has taken several small but consistent steps to ensure students in government schools embrace English.Pandey said state-owned schools have recently been sent a list of 75 common English sentences which they have to incorporate in their daily class routine.”Once children start learning small new sentences and words, it will be easier for them to pick up complex words later when the medium of instruction changes,” he added.
The list of sentences has been prepared by the State Council of Educational Research & Training (SCERT) and includes greetings and small talk.
Some of the sen Some of the sentences in the list are: “My apologies”, “Have a good weekend”, “I am obliged” and “What a nice day”.
Earlier this month, the state government began preparing a list of 50 common English words and sentences that would be introduced in schools to enhance the language skills of students.
Kids from schools which have Hindi as the medium of instruction often face challenges in competitive exams or while pursuing higher studies in streams like engineering or medical sciences where English is the primary medium of instruction. In 2016, the human resource development ministry , in an answer to a Lok Sabha question, had revealed that Hindi continued to be the primary medium of instruction in schools across India with around 49% students studying in Hindi-medium schools.