Wednesday, June 21, 2006

sad, but not surprising - a prejudice for English

Posting from the good ole USA today.... Now, not only are schools refusing to admit poor students, they're finding reasons to refuse students with bad English. Reasonable enough, in one sense--private schools needn't be in the business of providing remedial English help. But this is another piece of evidence showing the tremendous obstacles that face the lower class before they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps--which is apparently what most would have them do.

97.6% marks is not enough for admission to Delhi school
Wednesday, June 21, 2006 18:24 IST

NEW DELHI: Sixteen-year-old Garima Godar achieved the rare feat of securing 97.6 per cent marks in the class X board exams, but she got a rude shock when a top Delhi school denied her admission apparently due to her poor spoken English.

Everything seemed to be going right for Garima, daughter of a police constable, until she appeared for the entrance test for admission in Delhi Public School (DPS), Dwarka.

To her dismay, despite her excellent academic record, she did not find her name in the merit list of the school.

"I just don't understand what went wrong. I was a bit nervous in the interview. But my performance was up to my expectation," she said.

When contacted about the incident, DPS Dwarka Principal Umat Aluma said that though Garima's academic achievement was good, she fell short of standards in the entrance test and interview for admission to the top public school.

"We take into account the marks of previous examination, performance in entrance test and interview. She had secured good marks no doubt. But her performance in the other two tests were not up to our expectations," she said.

However, Garima is not satisfied with the reasons offered by the school for not selecting her. "In my case, it seems it was my performance in the interview (including my spoken English) that was not up to the mark. If this is true, is it not the responsibility of the school to help me improve my English? What else is a school meant for?" she asked.

Taking note of an incident wherein a top public school in the capital denied admission to a girl who secured 97.6 per cent marks in class X exams, Delhi Government today launched an inquiry into the matter and decided to offer scholarship to her.

Besides asking his ministry officials for a report by tomorrow in the matter, Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely has asked another branch of Delhi Public School to admit her.

"We are inquiring into the matter. I have asked officials of the education department to get the details from both the school authorities and the girl by tomorrow," Lovely said.

1 comment:

Shripriya said...

This is terrible. Yes, it is not their duty to offer remedial spoken English coaching, but obviously the kid is smart enough to pick this stuff up quickly.

I went to a school where in every grade the kids came from every economic strata. There were some kids whose parents were bus drivers in the public transportation corporation and others who were much better off. Because the school fees were so low, these kids were able to enter even in junior grades and by high school, you really couldn't tell what background the kids were from.

To me, it was a great example of a private institution that enabled people to dramatically change their lives. The school even offered a non-traditional "vocational" 11th and 12th grade curriculum that many took advantage of (allowed them to go into the insurance industry immediately upon graduation).

I really feel that fixing the issue we have today has to start at primary and secondary education. Starting at college or post college is a recipe for failure.