Sunday, June 3, 2007

Our skill of English language

In Ethiopia in particular and Africa in general there is a serious problem related to quality of language education. Particularly, the foreign languages that are being used as a medium of instruction in high schools and colleges. I think we should engage in a constructive debate about how to use our own language as medium of instruction at higher education level. What are the cons and pros of it?
The following excerpt is an application of a high school leaver for security guard position in certain company. I got it from someone, who was bitterly complaining about quality of education in Africa.

Dea
sir,

Iam aply to my job of security guard to you boss in you company ofClearing and Forward. Iam complete to high school examination certificat in2002. My school certificat is very good. I can come to see it for you.

iam 27 ears to be Born of age and no mallied and no children. My father isdead long time and my mother maried in Swaziland country 10 years, since Iam in primary school not see she so nobody known to help me.

My certificat is siting home for itself, but passes inMathematics,Geography,Science and all subjects but fail English because ofteacher teaching me is jelos of myself. Iam wearing good cloth than tothem. But can speak English free I here you company want security gardsand I tell you i want job.

Am one of that job experience for 2 years I shoot thief dead this temporayjob. I want to employ in you company because I can shot gun AK47 I leanedfrom Mgambo.Please consider me application careful and telephone me anytime because Ihave celphone. Iam red inteview for you. Iam very kind. And rememba thatEnglish is not our mother land!!!

Thank you very much
Yours
sincere

I doubt it how many of our students, who graduate every year from high school or 10+1 and 10+2 vocational training can compose a Job application conveying their message properly. I bet the above referred guy will out smart our boys and girls.

It is obvious that lack of language skill is defeating quality of education in our nation. How can one learn and grasp new concepts in science, mathematics or geography while the medium of instruction is a language that he can not understand? What has to be done? Shan't we revisit our justifications for using English as a medium of instruction and use another simpler language that students can understand easily? Or can we change the way we teach and learn English to the better?

I remember few years back the issue was being debated among politicians and academicians, the problem is still there but forgotten before finding any remedy for it.

Folks, what should be done? Should we let it go because "English is not our mother land" as the guy put it?

1 comment:

Lavonn said...

This is great info to know.