English as Language or personal growth?

English teaching in the primary schools is  still a hotly debated issue. 

Strong arguments are presented by advocates of both sides. While one group believes that knowledge of English is a basic requirement for combating our unemployment problem, some argue hotly that exposing our young children to a foreign language and culture will be a calamity for their cultural and religious upbringing.

English is today’s international language — as French and Latin once were. English today opens up countless avenues of knowledge, particularly in the areas of science and technology. The Internet can be utilized most advantageously if the user has a sound knowledge of English; the truth is that no other language plays such a wide role on the Net. Like it or not, English dominates international trade, culture and politics. Proficiency in the language is a basic qualification for higher positions in both the public and private sectors.

According to Abdul Wahid Al-Homaid, a columnist in Arabic daily Al-Riyadh, a person can work anywhere in the world if he or she has a working knowledge of English. Al-Homaid admits that it is not easy for speakers of the language of the Holy Qur’an to realize that another language is also important in their lives. We Arabs, however, cannot blame others for the unenviable backwardness in which many Arab and Muslim societies find themselves these days. We can only blame ourselves.

We must be both realistic and practical in order not to be left behind in today’s world of rapid technological development. Unless the younger generation arms itself with proficiency in English, we will surely be left even farther behind. Fearing a foreign language and suspecting it of subversion is baseless. Opposition to the teaching of English at the primary level is sadly illogical and unreasonable.

In the U.S. it is compulsory to speak English because that is their language and culture. In foreign countries, English is a very practical language to know because of its importance and use in international business and affairs. That's what you're getting at.

In the UPSC Civil Service Mains Exam, you’ve to face a compulsory English language paper worth 300 marks.
Although the marks scored in this paper, are not counted in the final merit list, but if you fail in this paper, they will not check your other papers and thus you miss the interview train.
In the UPSC 2010, total 819 candidates failed in the compulsory English paper. Therefore, you must not take the Compulsory English language paper lightly.

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