04 August, 2014

Who should be blamed for poor performance in English?

English is a second language to Bhutanese so it’s not a big concern. Know the truth and it is a concern. More than the national language we correspond in English.  In schools, students write in English more, read in English more, speak in English more and everything that student does in school is more in English medium. Why poor in English? Equally the question looms, is performance in Dzongkha better than English? For now let me dwell on former.
We know that the performance is poor in English if the scores of exam is a scale by which we draw lines of standard. This issue is not very new to us for any surprise. The question of education standard itself has been on debate for years. There are some local school of thoughts who say the standard is on fall and other side we also have some school of thoughts who say it has gone up. It is a hot bed for debates and discussions.
There is a need we crane our necks to see beyond the question of poor performance or standard. The students couldn’t perform well. For this neither can we blame students nor teachers. They did their share of responsibility-learning and teaching. Teachers, they do full compliance on curriculum checklist as designed by CAPSD. Students, they do their learning as taught. Where did either of them, or any of the stakeholders go wrong? Who is to be blamed for this? This is a home work for students, teachers, parents, education ministry, and policy makers to answer. These remain incomplete in the book of education. We have thrived on the issue for long but never raised ourselves out of it. It was a long conundrum for our education system.
Source: Google

We whined questions are tough. We have pointed the reading habit is poor, I agree. We said it is too technical and lengthy, time given was not enough. The poor performance is attributed to those reasons, simply these impeded the performance.
We cannot always sit on comfort, with these whining solutions. It’s a misnomer to label it solutions. These are mere excuses. It isn’t solution in itself. We have lived this way and nobody sees anything beyond. At least this is an indication at this point in time. It’s a case; we knew there is worm inside intestine, we also knew that there exists a cure for it. But we couldn’t spot what has led that worm in, which is all-time panacea for it. In the same line, our issue is to dig out what factored for poor performance. The clicks and tricks that has to be unearthed.
Report says urban students could better perform in English than their rural friends. There is truth in it. There are many parents-most of the urban dwellers in fact, the first language in family is English. So, performing well in English is the trait inherent. Whereas, in rural areas students hesitate to utter a word in English unless they are in class.
Despite all odds and dim future in going with it, we sit hopeful, optimistic and positive of the radical reform that the present Education Ministry is under way. We hope our teachers become better teachers, students become better learners and score board is colorful. We anticipate the question of standard and poor performance would be dropped with this major surgery that the Education Ministry is under process.
The question stands on our way-who should be blamed for poor performance or standard; students, or teachers, or parents or policy makers? Who should look beyond and where? Should we wait, wait and wait… for solution to come from blue? These are food for thought everyone must put on their plate of thought over and over again.

We accept we are wrong somewhere at some point. Need to spot that point. Where do you think is a problem area? 


  1. Recently the qualms on quality of English in our students have become more rampant. Forget about that, as you say, even quality of education as a whole was also being tabled in many forums for invariable debates.
    Given a chance, everyone will have a say - some blame on unpredictability of English questions, some on technicalities of classical poems and some even on inefficiency of teachers.
    But we can never say English standard is being deteriorated. Neither we can say it's being improved unless we make comparison of its standard of two time periods (i.e. past and present in most cases) on some reliable basis. English itself is a one of the most flexible and fast changing languages of the world. So rather than making a conclusion at a wink, we should also see into the suitability and reliability of the attributes our scholars use to compare the English standards of two generations. Otherwise our conclusion will just remain like a half-baked cake - full of ambiguities; deprived of precision. English standard being deteriorated, I feel it's more of baseless views than a concrete findings. Just my view though. Thank you bro. This really deserves some analysis..

  2. Thanks bro for the visit and comments. The question of quality of education remains unanswered, exposed to individual's own justifications. There is definitely a need to draw a line, whether it has actually gone down or up. Equally there are examples, for and against. There are graduates who find hard time drafting an application as reported, also there are others who could do pretty well. It is debatable. One thing is for sure, reading habit is poor. To me, it came very late.Still I sit doubtful whether I have reading habit, the best habit one can ever have. Keep commenting bro, it's inspiring.


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