NEW DELHI: It may not take too long for English to overtake Hindi as the largest
medium of instruction in schools in
capital. While Hindi still retains the top slot, the academic year 2010-11 saw
an increase of nearly one lakh in the number of students attending
English-medium schools in the capital when compared with the previous year.
Simultaneously, there was a decrease in the number of children studying at Hindi
medium schools of a little over a lakh.
The data is part of a yet-to-be released report on school enrolments across the
country, prepared by the National University of Education, Planning and
R Govinda, vice
chancellor of NUEPA,
feels a direct migration from Hindi medium to English medium may well have
occurred in Delhi, a city with greater prosperity and access than
of the country. "People who are just above the poverty line want their children
to benefit from studying at an Englih-medium school, as they have seen people
who speak English doing better in life than those who don't," says Govinda.
He also believes that the rise in enrolment in English-medium schools has much
to do with the enterprising business community, for whom education, too, is
another business. "I recently met a builder who said he was diversifying into
the field of education as there was a good market for it," says Govinda.
professor Shyam Menon, vice chancellor of Ambedkar University, the growing
demand for the English language in Delhi reflects a widespread urban phenomenon,
seen across the country's metros.
"English is identified with those who are at the core of the country's economy.
one's proximity with the English language, the closer one is perceived to be to
the core of the Indian economy. The same analogy can be extended to those who
live on the geographic periphery of the country's economic centres, and are
deprived of both English and the benefits of the economy," says Menon.
That Delhi's civic body is opening English-medium sections in municipal schools
too may have a hand in the growing number of students in English-medium schools.
"The state governments, MCD and education department have, for long, been
lobbying for an increase in English-medium schools without consulting
educationists on its implications. The English language is seen as a passport to
growth and prosperity. But it's also important to examine the larger role that
language plays in the life of an individual and for a culture," says Rahul Dev,
founder of Sampark, an organization that works towards the preservation of