English as a medium of Instruction in GB

By Muhammad Aman Shah

English language as medium of instruction is considered an important element in the education system of a country. Usually, in Pakistan two major education systems are playing their role side by side to provide the services of education using different mediums of instruction.

Gilgit-Baltistan has been the focus of education for last few decades where public and private sector systems along with NGOs are the mainstream institutions of education. In these setups both Urdu and English are used as medium of instruction.  At present era, English is a global language and mostly recognized as medium of instruction worldwide amongst six thousand languages of the world. But So far in public sector education system of Pakistan especially the education system of Gilgit-Baltistan, students are deprived of seeking education in English language because teachers are not regularly practicing this language as medium of instruction. It has been observed that in government sector schools, very few teachers deliver their lessons or lectures in English and most of them are standby with Urdu medium of instruction in their classes. According to ANNUAL STATUS OF EDUCATION REPORT (ASER) 2012, 34% English is applied as a medium of instruction in public sector schools. That is a very poor progress indeed. Recent researches have also shown that language learning skills deteriorate when the education system shows inability to provide learning and teaching through English language as medium of instruction.

On the contrary, in private sector schools of Gilgit-Baltistan the usage of English as medium of instruction is comparatively better. The leading figures are repeatedly striving to implement the policies of EMI in their educational setup.  Owing to such fruitful strategies, there emerge so many positive changes in students, teachers and parents. Best examples of these education systems are Aga Khan Education Services Pakistan, Elysian Higher Secondary School System, Learning Academy Gilgit and many others. They are contributing their services very effectively in the context of EMI. Therefore, they are presented the token of appreciation. This new trend in education has not merely changed the education system but it has also captured the minds of students, teachers and parents.  Parents’ visions to educate their children from private schools are increasing day by day. Students’ motivation towards learning is also developing and teachers’ association and insights with this prestigious profession is getting stronger.

Considering the significance of English all educational systems 0f GB should have the right strategies to implement English as medium of instruction. It will be possible at that time when management, teachers, students and parents put their collaborative efforts.

The writer is pursuing MS English at COMSATS Islamabad

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One Comment

  1. Thank you for your thoughtful contribution. I think you have some very valid points. I would like to add that it is of vital importance to teach the students in GB both their mother tongue and Urdu. The languages of the people of GB are considered endangered and have experienced linguistic dilution with Urdu. Urdu is necessary to know because it is a common language for the region. Therefore, students should be taught their Mother tongue for the local language community, Urdu for the regional language community, and English for the global language community.

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