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English language dominating our education system


The movie “Hindi Medium” is just another example of how our education system is flawed to a great extent. Throughout the movie we see that the parents especially the mother is highly concerned about getting her daughter into a top school which predominantly falls into a category of an English speaking modern school.

This sheds light upon a very important component of our society of how the English language dominates our education system and it holds true for a Pakistani society as well, despite Urdu being our national language. This then becomes a hinderance in learning for the children that belong to a rural background where they haven’t been taught the English language in a similar manner and as a consequence they face trouble getting into such schools.


Moreover, it also shows how knowing this language is associated with one being “High class” as mentioned by Irfan Khan. This highlights how our society has created a mindset where fluent English speakers are considered the more “educated” and “high class” people and hence the opportunities that are provided also differ. All of this is the creation of our society and it has nothing to do with one’s own potential or skill but the dominance of knowing the English language.

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This is an extremely important issue in our society that results in a lot of people having low self esteem only because they are unable to communicate fluently in a language foreign to them. This has also led to people not taking pride in their mother tongue anymore. I have personally witnessed a lot of incidents where people have been mocked for being fluent in urdu as well since that does not equate to being "educated" for these people. I believe it is very important for us to take pride in our mother tongue as well and we should stop judging people's intellect based on the language they speak.

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This is indeed a practice that has been there for a very long time in our society and many people feel inferior to those fluent English speakers. Even though this shouldn’t be the case at all but it is the sad reality of our society.

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English is much for away to us. Can you imagine only 7% o Pakistanis have urdu as their mother language. About 65% of Pakistanis have Punjabi as their mother language. But there is no school in Pakistan where medium of instruction is Punjabi. So not only English rather urdu is the aleaniating language to a younger child. A child can learn much better in his mother tongue. The india has much better education system than Pakistan. In Indian punjab punjabi is used as the medium of instruction while in different regions other particular regional languages are used for medium of instruction till primary or secondary Schools. In Sirilanka and Bangladesh child learn in their regional languages till primary or secondar…

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You have indeed made a very strong point especially backed up by figures. It’s sad to know how our national language tends to lack behind and that most of our education is in English language rather than our national language as it should be.

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The importance of English cannot be denied in any way however the fact that now we categorize people on the base of how fluent they are in English is perturbing. So many of us who are not from English medium backgrounds have trouble settling in such environments where speaking in English in the only way you can prove yourself. In our desi culture you are intelligent only if you are good at English. We do not take pride in our language and that is why chinese always inspire me when they take pride in their language and speak it everywhere even if they know how to communicate in English

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That is the sad reality where our people don’t take pride in our national language and instead are complexed by the fact that they can speak fluent English. In fact people miss out on a lot of opportunities just on this fact and it’s really disappointing.

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To add on to your post, would like to mention how even in the West, people from non-white backgrounds face discrimination because of language barriers, and because they might not being speaking perfect English. I remember studying about African Americans in the US school system, and how they're representation in classrooms and their perception by their teachers were overtly impacted by their use of African American Vernacular English (AAVE), so much so that kids using AAVE in daily conversation with peers and teachers were seen to be lazier, less productive, less smart, and overall underperformers compared to kids who spoke standard English (mostly white children). This biased perception in any context would result in implicit or explicit racism or discrimination,…

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You’re very right. I know many examples of how students felt so insecure about their English that their academics were affected just because they didn’t feel confident enough to communicate their ideas. This again is just the creation of our society and the thinking of our people that one must be considered “educated” or “elite” only if they speak English. And indeed you’re right that this doesn’t just exist in our society but is also faced by other people from a non-white background.

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I believe that this inclination with english language is a heritage from British Colonial System. Even though India and Pakistan are two independant nations today, but the effects of British Raj are still very prominent. One such effect is more affection towards english as compared to Hindi, Urdu or any other language. Yes, this is true that our society has created a mindset of considering fluent English speakers as more educated ones. But we must also take into account how different regional languages of Pakistan are discriminated over Urdu. For instance, a person speaking english would be considered, as you mentioned, a well educated person. One step down, an Urdu speaking person would be considered a well mannered and polite…

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I think you have raised a very good point because language discrimination is indeed very prevalent in our society. Indeed there are many instances where I want to speak in Punjabi language but the fear of being judged or perhaps the fear of being perceived differently stops me so many times. Even though this shouldn’t be there but it’s the sad reality.

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