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Varanasi
Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Congress govt. forcefully renames Shri Hari Singh school to Mahatma Gandhi school, and teaching medium to English in mid-year: Rajasthan

Congress govt. in Rajasthan has forcefully changed the name of a govt. school, Shri Hari Singh Senior Secondary School in Jodhpur district, to Mahatma Gandhi English Medium School, and medium of instruction from Hindi to English, mid-year, overruling protests from parents and locals.

Now Rajasthan High Court had revoked the govt. decision. As per a Times of India report:

“The Rajasthan High Court has said that English, as a medium of instruction, cannot be thrust upon a child even by a legislation of the state government while revoking the decision to convert Shri Hari Singh Senior Secondary School in Jodhpur district to English medium school in the middle of the ongoing academic year.

The court’s decision came while hearing a petition by the school development management committee (SDMC) of the school which was converted into Mahatma Gandhi English Medium School by a government order on September 20 last year. 

The court termed the decision to convert the school with immediate effect during the 2021-22 academic session violative of Article 14 and 19 of the Constitution. If for the upcoming session, i.e., 2022-23, the government wishes or proposes to convert the school in question to an English medium school, it shall convene a meeting of the SDMC in the presence of the sub-divisional magistrate/tehsildar and a nominee of the district education officer concerned with the agenda of the meeting circulated well in advance, the court directed.

The SDMC of the Shri Hari Singh Senior Secondary School under Pilwa panchayat samiti of Dechu in Jodhpur along with two other students had moved the high court following the decision by the state government, dated September 20, 2021, to convert the school into an English medium school.

The petitioners said that the present school came into being in 2012-13 in Pilwa panchayat circle after it was merged with two more government schools, a primary school for girls and another government primary school. “In the entire panchayat circle, the school in question is the only one which imparts education from classes 1 to 12 for 601 students who are taking education/instructions in Hindi,” the petition stated.

The SDMC contended that the conversion of the existing Hindi medium school would adversely affect the future of students, particularly girls….the SDMC pointed out that an English medium school can be opened in the vacant building of the government school which can be run in two shifts, one each for students in both mediums. Though the SDMC asked the government not to convert the medium of instruction to English mid-year, it approached the court after the government failed to respond to its request.”

Naming everything in the country after Gandhi and Nehru has been a long-term project of Congress, with the aim of obliterating public memory of all other national, regional and civilizational icons. The heavy-handed decision of changing medium of instruction mid-year is also typical of the Congress’ elitist, high-command driven model of governance.

Netizens wondered what makes the party behave in such a way.

The obsession with English-medium instruction is understandable as it has become the path to white-collar employment in our country, serves as a link language and is considered as a marker of upward social mobility. Even BJP governments are now embarking on converting regional-language school to English medium.

However, in pursuit of short-term goals, are we becoming oblivious to the long-term damage of such an educational policy? Research from across the world has shown that children learn better when taught in their mother tongue. English should definitely be taught as a second language, but should we be making it the medium of instruction for maths, science, history and other subjects?

Sankrant Sanu, an IIT Kanpur graduate, technologist and entrepreneuer with global experience, disagrees. His site, bhashaneeti.org (which translates into ‘language policy’) explains why teaching in mother tongue is so important at both school and university level.

There is also a growing realization that we need to decolonize sectors like law & academia – the most urgent requirement is to make them accessible to native-language speakers – to shake off the chains of mental slavery which still hold our nation back, as a tiny ruling Anglicized elite have hijacked our key institutions.

The New Education Policy 2020 has also acknowledged this issue, as it states “Wherever possible, students till Class V in schools should be taught in mother tongue/regional language/local language.” The idea is drawn from various studies that show young children best understand things in their mother tongue or home language, with a concession that teachers may use the bilingual approach to teach subjects.

If we want a diversified, modern economy with world-class manufacturing and science & technology sectors, promoting innovators and thinkers in native languages is going to be key. After all, we just have to look at the majority of our present elite – almost all schooled in English-medium schools and Western universities – who are so mentally colonized and self-alienated that they seek Western approval and intervention at every turn.

Its not about replacing English, but about creating an education system where high-quality curriculum and teachers are available in Bharatiya languages too. It is a challenging task, but not impossible given the right technology tools and political will. And the pay off will be invaluable.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Rajasthan govt decision to convert Hari Singh school from Hindi media to English is deplorable, like AP Christian govt, but all civil servants of IAS,IPS are learn to read & write, communicate in regional language within a stipated time? Otherwise will not be confirmed,as administration runs in local language, hardly less than 3% go for IT/ Ites, jobs, 97% work in other sectors, no need for English, can manage with hindustani, this is nothing but steps for conversions to missionaries by Sonia to claim minority status for vote banks?? Courts to take notice

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