Calcutta: Hindi students fail to read papers in English

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Tue Jul 10 18:33:31 UTC 2007

Hindi students fail to read papers in English

Moumita Roy
KOLKATA, July 9: At a time when the state government is stressing on
the development of the backward classes, the high drop-out rate and
poor performance of students of Hindi medium schools in their Board
examinations tells a different story. The reason is the fact that all
the question papers are printed in English while the maximum number of
the students have little knowledge of the language. Since most of
these Hindi medium students hail from under-privileged families and
English is their third language, the extent of their understanding of
the language is minimal. They are expected to answer when they are
unable to decipher the meaning of the questions. This results in poor
performance and in the long run adds to the ever expanding list of
drop-outs in the state.

Representatives of West Bengal Association of Christian Schools and
West Bengal Teachers' Christian Association have decided to take up
this issue with the state school education minister, Mr Partha De and
demand immediate steps to be taken towards printing question papers in
Hindi for Hindi medium candidates.
Mr Herod Mullick, state secretary of Bangiya Christiya Pariseba said,
"This problem could have been overcome with a little cooperation from
the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education. But they simply refused
to lend a helping hand. So we have no options but to appeal to the
minister." He added that their requests to the secondary board to
publish question papers in Hindi for the sake of these students fell
into deaf years. It was learnt that the board clearly stated that it
is not possible to consider their plea. Over 70 Christian missionary
schools including the ones in the North Bengal tea-gardens are
currently facing this problem. The schools are namely Our Lady of
Providence Girls School, Kolkata; Maria Goretti, Asansol; St Joseph's
School, Chittaranjan among others.

Expressing concern on the condition of the students, an official of
the state school education minister said, "This is a pertinent issue,
as these students are suffering due to the language problem. They are
learning English but not enough to read and understand questions in a
board exam."

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