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19 May 2008, 0122 hrs IST,Rema Nagarajan,TNN

English gains as learning medium


Now 3rd Biggest Medium Of Instruction
With English giving India a huge advantage in the global economy, it is only natural that more Indians are opting to educate their kids in English-medium schools. What may come as a surprise is the pace at which this is happening. Nationwide enrolment in the upper primary section of English-medium schools rose 74% during 2003-2006.

In actual figures, this is a rise from 54.7 lakh students in 2003 to 95.1 lakh in 2006. Data collected by the
National University for Education Planning and Administration (NUEPA) show that over the same period, enrolment in Hindi (the dominant language) medium schools grew by 24% from 6.3 crore   to 7.8 crore.

PEOPLE'S CHOICE

Enrolment by medium of instruction in India (Class I to VIII)

2005-06 2003-04
Medium of Instruction No. of children enrolled % of total enrolment No. of children enrolled % of total enrolment
Hindi 7,83,74,227  52.2  6,31,63,357  49.5
Marathi 1,21,21,341  8.0  1,11,14,951  8.7
English 95,10,381 6.3  54,66,008 4.3
Telugu 87,44,863  5.8  80,72,140  6.3
Tamil 75,70,536  5.0  74,93,405  5.9
Gujarati 67,02,038  4.4  63,40,761  5.0
Kannada 57,69,404  3.8  64,04,617  5.0
Oriya 55,08,523  3.6  56,15,384  4.4
Assamese 32,489,26  2.1  28,47,257  2.2
Urdu 28,98,809  1.9  25,51,662  2.0
Malayalam 28,30,950  1.8  32,14,893  2.5
India*  15,00,36,836  100  12,74,31,057  100

* Total Enrolment

The growth of English is more in non-Hindi speaking states, mostly the southern states which account for over 60% of the students enrolled in English-medium schools in the three-year period. Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, in that order, account for the highest jump in numbers in enrolment.

TN, which had the largest number of students enrolled in English-medium schools in 2003, was outstripped by AP by 2006. In AP, the number of students enrolled in English-medium schools nearly doubled in this period from 10.6 lakh to 20.9 lakh. In TN, the numbers jumped from 14.7 lakh to 17.2 lakh; and in Maharashtra, from 10.6 lakh to 11.9 lakh.

English-medium also accounts for well over 90% of the enrolment in the northeastern states. However, up north, the growth of English has been sluggish except in Punjab and Gujarat where enrolment went up by over 93,000 and 60,000 respectively not so high when compared with the southern states

 

rema.nagarajan@timesgroup.com

 

Times of India, May 19, 2008