Academy of Marketing Studies Journal (Print ISSN: 1095-6298; Online ISSN: 1528-2678)


Access to English: The Path to Educational Justice

Author(s): Priyanka Joshi, Gulab Chand, Urjani Chakravarty and Pranav Joshi

English has commanded a comparatively significant attention in the South Asian countries apart from being simply a medium of communication. For these countries, English is a historical link to the colonial past and their struggles, and has metamorphosed into the economic link for education, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities from multiple world economies. Despite the numerical strength of English speakers in these countries being in the millions, it presents a distorted picture of the language’s proliferation. Unfortunately, the spread of English language is still limited to the Urban, Upper and the Middle Class and the highly educated. This stands in contravention to the constitutional provisions of these countries, particularly of India, where each citizen has the fundamental right to education. As most higher education (colleges and universities) is conducted in English, the Rural, Agricultural and Economically backward areas are either bereft of such avenues, or the students increasingly devote their time in learning the language, rather than actually reading about their discipline. This paper is an attempt to showcase the relationship between socio-economic determinants such as class, gender and demography and the access to learn English language. The study mainly focuses on the Indian scenario and traces patterns from countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the paper also mentions about the economic and social significance of learning the language. Lastly, by taking examples from various state administrations, the paper enlists some practical measures that can be deployed to ease the access of English learning in the region.

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