The Khyber Pukhtunkhwa government has struck an agreement with the British Council to train its government school teachers in improving their English language skills. According to the agreement, 83,000 government schools teachers will be taught in English as a medium of instruction to improve their skills in science, mathematics and general knowledge. 

Teachers’ training is a long overdue component in the education sector, especially at the primary level. The primary school teachers are hardly BA pass. Often in rural areas, teachers are compelled to teach text books which they hardly comprehend. How can they make the students understand the concepts of the textbooks when they do not know anything themselves? The consistent revision of text books has also made put the teachers in an unwanted situation. 

The over emphasis of English in the less educated teacher’s training can have negative effects. The teachers will be more concerned and preoccupied with learning English other than learning the basic concepts of science and mathematics. Moreover, their preoccupation with hardly-learned English will make them impose the language on their students. The students will find it strange because it is neither their mother tongue, nor spoken in any part of the country. It can damage the leaning abilities of the students. 

The government should improve the academic credentials of the government schools teachers by training them in the language they best understand. Once they know well what they teach, they can easily pass it to the pupils. In the primary level, the students should be taught in their mother tongue. Once their base becomes strong, they can learn English as a language at the later stage.  

M SAYYAD ALAM KHAN, 

Peshawar, September 11.