English as medium of instruction at primary schools welcomed

Updated March 18, 2014

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— File Photo
— File Photo

SWABI: Many people have expressed the intention to get their children enrolled in the public sector primary schools following the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government’s decision to change the medium of instruction from Urdu to English at primary level in the province from the new academic calendar.

The results of annual examinations are slated to be announced on March 31, leading to the promotion of the successful nursery-grade 8 students to next grades.

According to the government’s decision, the change of the medium of instruction will be carried out in two stages, first from the beginning and second from grade-4, taking four or five years to complete.

Rangaiz Khan, former district president of PTI, said the change of the medium of instruction in government schools was meant to introduce a durable and perfect education mechanism but an abrupt change would not sit well with students and teachers alike.

He said primary teachers had been trained to teach their respective subjects in English, while teachers of other cadres would undergo such training in the coming years. Primary schoolteachers said they had already undergone the training.

“We are ready to adopt the new system and foresee lots of children will leave private schools to join government schools in future,” a primary school teacher said. However, some former school principals and headmasters felt changing the medium of instruction won’t be easy as it would stress out most students, who won’t be able to adjust themselves to it for coming from poor and illiterate backgrounds.

They said books of new course would be handed over to the students after the annual results were announced.

The parents welcomed the initiative.

Basar Ali of Maneri Bala area said the main difference between government and private schools was the English medium of instruction and if the two had the same medium of instruction, then nobody would send children to private schools, which charged huge fees.

“Every month, I pay over Rs2000 as monthly fee of my children studying in a private school. After the introduction of new system, I wish to transfer my children to a government school and it will save me lots of money every month,” he said.

Mohammad Jamil of Topi city said he had got his children transferred from a private school to a government school after learning about the government’s plan to change the medium of instruction at its schools.

“Now, my three children are getting education in a government primary school,” he said.

Mohammad Ashfaq, a retired headmaster, said introduction of English medium of instruction was a good sign as there was a demand for a uniform educational system for both private and public sector schools.