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Government analysing student data to offer language flexibility in education


NEW DELHI: As the Centre looks to introduce technical education acrossIITs,NITsand other engineering institutes in the mother tongue, it will be closely looking at profile of students who appeared for the Joint Engineering Examination (JEE) Main—primarily to assess the role of language of instruction.

As per the latest data assessments done by the Union education ministry, near 90% students who applied for the JEE Main 2020 were from the English medium while only 6.73% came from Hindi medium schools, ET learns.

Less than 1% students who appeared for the JEE—the chief entrance examination for engineering institutes— were from languages other than Hindi and English.

Of these, the highest proportion came from the Gujarati language—since JEE Main is now offered in the Gujarati besides English and Hindi.

While it is clear that the largest proportion of students who applied and appeared in the JEE Main were from the English medium, those who ultimately cracked the exams tell a different story altogether— from the linguistic prism.

About 25% students who cracked the JEE Main were from the English medium but interestingly– narrowing the gap were Hindi medium school students. Near 22% of those who cracked JEE Main were from a Hindi medium school.

Among other regional languages, the highest proportion who made it were from the Telugu medium—a 35.45% Telugu medium students cracked the exam.

A similar assessment is likely to be done for the JEE Advanced- the exam that determines admissions to IITs- to assess the role of language and schooling medium.

The data, so far, clearly makes a case for allowing more linguistic flexibility in technical education to broaden access to a larger section of society which is instructed in regional languages and has ,therefore, so far been disadvantaged vis a vis the English medium students.

The reverse argument is that the move is not in synch with a globalized world order and will ultimately not work to the advantage of the student in question as he looks for greater opportunity and career advancement.

The Centre, however, is preparing to make the first moves.

ET was the first to report how the Centre was examining the possibility of introducing both- engineering and other technical education besides medicine- in the mother tongue.

Rounds of meetings have been held in November for the same.

A task force has further been set up last week by the Union Education ministry—with Directors of several IITs and NITs on board- to assess the feasibility of offering courses in regional languages. It is gathered that pilot projects are planned at IIT BHU and IIT Kharagpur to start with.

The move comes close on the heels of the Education ministry’s announcement saying that the JEE Main exam—which determines admissions to engineering colleges- will be conducted in the 22 regional languages as well.

It is so far conducted in English, Hindi and Gujarati.

It is hoped that conducting the exam and thereafter offering technical and medical education in the mother tongue will widen access to these institutes- especially for students who have done their schooling in their mother tongue and not the English language.

The RSS—the ruling BJP’s ideological guide— is also learnt to have put its weight behind the plan.

The National Education Policy 2020, which the government has recently unveiled, has also strongly advocated a shift to the mother tongue right from primary schooling to higher education.

Source

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