October 2007

Are English skills a power in India?

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Are English language skills a power in India? Can it be denied that versatility in this language is a stepping stone to gainful employment? Gainful. Not employment, but employment which promises gains. Employment which suggests a moving ahead, a betterment, an insurance for difficult times, a smooth supply of water, a better education for children, a house of one's own, a debt relief, food and health. All this and more is dependent upon English.

This is not an exaggeration, nor unrealistic, nor anglocentric. English is perhaps one of the most important parameters for stepping up the socio-economic ladder. Citizens are said to stand in immense benefit with globalisation. However what is often neglected is that good skills in English are intimately tied to class. There is an immediate need to address the 'English Skills' divide that could be said to be as pernicious as the digital divide. As the governments go on at a slow pace, private institutes continue to blossom all around the country sensing a dire need for English language skills.

There is an immediate requirement for the government schools to address the need for English. I would argue that it may be a good idea to have a separate policy initiative in this direction

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