Tyranny of Language in Education: The Problem and its Solution
by Zubeida Mustafa
Publisher: Ushba Books
About the Book
Language is closely linked with a person’s socialisation. It is something that develops in a community. The culture, political thought and sociological dimension of people living in a group have a direct bearing on the language they speak. That is why language is never regarded as something neutral and the medium of instruction used in school has far-reaching implications for the people. It can facilitate their social, cultural and intellectual development or it can hurt their capacity to learn. Unfortunately, factors other than these obvious ones have determined the language to be used to teach a young child in Pakistan. The failure to look at language as a crucial component of education per se has resulted in our failure to spread literacy and learning in the country.
Can we reform education in Pakistan using any language? No, says the author, who makes an attempt to look at the issue from a young child’s perspective. She makes suggestions based on biological, social, historical, political and, above all, pragmatic imperatives that could give a boost to education in Pakistan. She sheds light on the roles to be assigned to the mother tongue, the national language and English, the international language of the day.
About the Author
ZUBEIDA MUSTAFA is a Karachi-based journalist who worked with the English language daily, Dawn, as Assistant Editor from 1975 till her retirement in 2009. She wrote editorials and articles on the social sector after extensive research on education, health, women, children and population. Earlier Ms Mustafa worked as a Research Officer in the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs, Karachi in 1962-69.
She contributes a weekly column to Dawn and her writings are reproduced worldwide on the web. She encourages dialogue and discussion on her website, www.ZubeidaMustafa.com.
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