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Importance of English in Civil Service Exams

Importance of English in Civil Service Exams
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By: Muhammad Shahram Bhutto

The English Language is a vital tool for communication across the globe. It is not only a means of exchanging thoughts and ideas, but it builds friendships, economic relationships and cultural ties. But the way English language is supplanting over others languages of the world is unprecedented. In the subcontinent, English is widely taught in the entire region as its rising significance in the education system of such countries where English is even important than their own national languages which depicts why the young generation is crazy and feverish to learn English language.

Economic dealings of great powers, enhanced bilateral cooperation and diplomatic use of English has paved way for playing vibrant role as lingua franca between states whose native languages are other than English.

Unfortunately, In many countries, people are judged by their linguistics skills, which is nothing but a reflection of colonial and outdated mindset of the great Britain.

This futile and bizarre trend has to be discouraged or it will lead to language endangerment and ultimately to language death of many languages. Moreover, it is also violation of article 14 of the UN article about language rights.

If we take a bird’s eye view of India and Pakistan’s civil service exam where English is given utmost important than the rest of the subjects in the syllabus of CSS/IPS exams. It is English that decides future of the aspirants and unfortunately, the policy makers have set English both composition and essay papers as touchstones for the civil service.

This is tantamount to the old colonial mindset even in the 21st century that the elite class has set English as criterion of competency in the civil service exams. Consequently, many aspirants who are more competent in other subjects, could not achieve niche in the civil services on account of their schooling which are not at par with the elite school systems; Thus the civil services exams still imbibe the essence of colonial mindset in the sub continent.

Owing to these factors, English language learning has become a fever for learners and their parents. Ultimately, it has led to cut throat competition between many academicians and businessmen which resulted in mushroom growth of academies and institutes in our country. It has created mayhem and confusion in our education system. Unfortunately, the government is not keenly interested in the problems of result oriented language policy of curriculum. The differences of curriculum in provinces have further exacerbated the scene with different objectives they have set.

The scourge of Urdu, sindhi, Punjabi medium has further complicated the whole scenario of education system.

If English and only English is the yardstick in civil services exams in Pakistan, then why English medium schools are not promoted and encouraged as the sole institutes for our students? This is the core issue of failure in our education system and it needs timely remedy.

In my opinion, English language should not be a prestige marker in our society as it was embedded in the time of British colonial rulers.

English may be reckon prestige marker when one lives upto the requirement of competitive exams as its role is instrumental in the exams.

The writer can be reached at shahrum425@gmail.com

Courtesy: The Dayspring Media

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