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'Regional Language Must to Access Education, English for Employability'

Institutions of higher learning, including colleges, opened in Kashmir. (Representative image)

Institutions of higher learning, including colleges, opened in Kashmir. (Representative image)

For students, the question is not of the mode of education or understandability but whether regional language education s enough to retain relevance in the global employment landscape?

Despite the push of government and a large base in regional languages, especially in semi-urban and rural India, English continues to remain the language of the mode of instruction. For those who opt for English despite the lack of support infrastructure, there are concerns regarding employability after a degree in a regional language. Lack of content in the local language and access to quality teaching are also among chief concerns.

English is undeniably a global language. With the world undergoing a digital shift due to the pandemic, education has been digitalised to a great extent. In the digital sphere, regional languages come far behind English in terms of ease of access and availability of digital resources.

For students, the question is not of the mode of education or understandability but whether regional language education s enough to retain relevance in the global employment landscape? Almost every sector requires English comprehension skills. As a result, education cannot be viewed in isolation.

There is no denying that regional languages do address challenges thrown by the non-proliferation of English in rural hinterlands, create a better connection between students and teachers, and promote multilingualism. Yet, does it address the employment crunch and improve the employability quotient of regional language students?

As of December 2021, India registered 53 million unemployed people. Therefore, the need of the hour is to bridge the gap between employability and unemployability. While regional education can achieve this, it is imperative to implement a policy promoting synergy between education with a solid foundation in a regional language and a functional knowledge of English that serves the needs of a globalised world. But can we deliver scientific education like engineering and medicine effectively in regional languages, which have native vocabulary in English only?

Considering this scenario, English should be taught as an additional language to foster a basic understanding. Teachers with multilingual capabilities, including English, can effectively add to the internationalization of higher education. While there cannot be any doubt about the need to overcome language barriers to address the competencies of students that suits their present and future requirements, the process of enhancing proficiency in English must not be ignored.

At Safalta, the synergy to provide resources and education in a regional language has been created successfully. The Union Budget 2022-23 does shift the focus on digital learning and underlines the need to adapt to the new world. But what we need are changes at the infrastructural level that align with the NEP 2020 vision.

— Authored by Himanshu,CEO and Co-founder of Safalta

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first published:February 15, 2022, 12:06 IST