Punjab’s English teachers appear to be the reason behind more than 80,000 students failing the subject in class 10 board exam this year. When Education Minister Daljeet Singh Cheema took a special class for ten English teachers from each district that got the poorest results, most of them were unable to construct a simple sentence, leave alone spell four letter words.
At the auditorium of PSEB in Mohali, Cheema was shocked when the government teachers — most of them holding a masters degree in English — fumbled to write in English.
Cheema, to test the teachers’ language and grammar skills, asked each one of them to fill a proforma stating why their students failed in the exam and to give suggestions to improve results in future.
Later, the proforma of the teachers were displayed on the projector and Cheema was not amused to see the English used by teachers.
One of the teachers from Fatehgarh Sahib suggested, “It class was very weak class from 6 by chance.” What the teacher meant was that the results were poor because the class was weak (not him). When Cheema asked this particular teacher if he should be given training, he said that he is confident that doesn’t need any.
The teachers were not able to spell basic words and wrote vacent instead of vacant, lake for lack, and eight became eaght.
The reasons given by the teachers regarding their poor performance were equally shocking. Except for one teacher (Rupinder Kaur) from Fazilka, none of the others among more than 200 teachers were able to speak in English with the minister.
The reasons cited by the teachers for poor English ranged from poor students studying in schools to forgetting their spectacles at.
Cheema meanwhile said that soon reputed organizations like Cambridge would be approached by Punjab government to train English teachers in Punjab as he is ‘worried and shocked’ over what happened he witnessed today.