Make English optional medium: Tripura’s ruling Left


Agartala : The Left Front government in Tripura Friday demanded that regional languages be reintroduced alongside English as a medium of learning for all degree level courses in the ongoing academic session.

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“The union government should introduce English as an optional medium of learning along with other recognised local and regional languages in higher education across the country,” Tripura Higher Education Minister Anil Sarkar said in a statement.

“The Tripura Central University has introduced English as a medium of learning and it would be a dangerous impediment for students in obtaining higher education.”

This comes after the Tripura Central University, following a directive from the central government, made English the mandatory medium of learning in its honours courses and the decision is being implemented in the current academic session.

The Students Federation of India (SFI), which is the student wing of the state’s ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), has been demanding for the past week that the university decision on English not be implemented in colleges.

“We feel that a sudden change in language at the degree level will harm most students because they come from a Bengali medium background. It won’t help anyone unless the medium of learning is changed at the secondary level,” said SFI general secretary Nirmal Biswas.

However, opposition parties, including the Congress, have supported the university decision to give priority to English as a medium.

“Either the Left parties do not want to make our future generations competent for national level competitions or they are unnecessarily indulging in politics when the entire world is taking initiatives to impart sound knowledge to the new generation,” Congress leader Ratan Lal Nath told journalists.

“Tripura is blindly following the Left Front government in West Bengal which is taking an about-turn in every sector, as it tries desperately to regain ground lost over two decades.”

A senior professor of the Tripura Central University said the union human resource development ministry had directed that the medium of learning must be either English or Hindi.

“If the college and university students do not learn English, they would be unable to appear in the all India National Eligibility Test (NET) examinations to get jobs in higher education,” the professor said on condition of anonymity.

The university was under the Tripura government until 2007 when it became a central varsity.