Job prospects narrowed for English inefficiency

A huge number of graduates coming out every year from the country’s different educational institutions are not being able to compete for jobs at the international arena due to a lack of expertise in English. There is almost no initiative on part of the government to introduce time befitting curricula and create efficient teachers to build a workforce equipped with sufficient knowledge in the language, said educationists.

As the present education system is not proving adequate to produce workforce with expertise in English is not being delivered, the number of unemployed youths with little knowledge in English is increasing day by day. Desired success in getting jobs in multi-national companies or in creating employment through freelancing is also remaining unachieved.

Due to the failure in capturing global jobs, pressure on local job market is increasing. The frustrating condition of English knowledge of the country’s students becomes clear in the admission tests of the public universities. In 2014 Dhaka University’s admission test for the humanities group, only two students out of over 40 thousand got the necessary number in English subject to qualify for admission in English department. In 2016, 90 percent candidates failed in English in ‘Ga’ unit’s admission test of the same university.

Educations are of the opinion that our students are not getting expertise in English even after passing 17 academic years. Although around five lakh youths are completing higher education every year, due to lack of English knowledge, they are facing various problems in workplaces. Around 47 percent graduates are not getting jobs.

They said if the country’s youths had expertise in English, they would be able to explore in global job markets. If the country’s public schools introduced English-medium education, majority graduates would have then expertise in the language. According to the education ministry, the country has 4 crore of students from class one to class twelve. Of them, the 146 registered English-medium schools accommodate only 79,000 students which is only 0.2 percent. Former education adviser to caretaker government, Hossain Zillur Rahman told the Bangladesh Post: “English, at present, is not only a language, it is considered as a technology now. It is now the sole medium for international communication.”

“But our policymakers address English language in such a way that creates the impression that prioritising English means belittling the mother language,” he added. He further said, “It is mention worthy that those policymakers are educating their children English-medium schools. Dhaka University Professor Dr Manjurul Islam said we are losing our bargaining cards in international level due to lack of expertise in English. If English-medium version is introduced in public schools, it would have brought a good result.

“But under the present salary structure, it would bring no result at all,” he added. On the other hand, taking excessive tuition fees the private English-medium schools are making huge profits. Due the high tuition cost, people from middle or lower income groups are not being able to send their children to those schools.