Employers’ Expectations and MBA Students’ Spoken English Skills: Exploring the Divide
- Written by Roseliz Francis
There is a requirement for qualified and capable business professionals who can sustain India’s economic growth. This is perhaps the reason that the number of students seeking admission to the MBA (Masters in Business Administration) has escalated over the years. According to a report by MBAuniverse.com, the number of MBA seats in India has grown four fold, from 94,704 in
2006-07 to 35, 2571 in 2011-12. While there is no dearth in the number of management graduates in the market, employers claim that only a small percentage is actually employable. A survey of 2,264 MBA graduates carried out by MeritTrac, an Indian Assessment and Testing Company in 2012 showed that only 21% were employable. Graddol observes that ‘a part of the unemployment problem emanates from the mismatch between the skill requirements of the market and the skill base of the job seekers’(Graddol, 2009, p.106).
In a multi-lingual country like India, English has evolved to become the language of the workplace. MBA graduates are expected to possess excellent communication skills in English. It is taken for granted that they are fluent in English because the MBA selection criteria include examination of their linguistic skills in English. Since English is the medium of instruction in Indian business schools and management institutes, it is thought to contribute to the development of their English language skills.
- Written by Kirti Kapur
Two decades ago, the UNESCO supported World Conference on Special Needs education led to the creation of the Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education. The key premise of the action plan was to encourage schools to “accommodate all children regardless of their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, linguistic or other conditions.” The statement further states that children who are “disabled… and…from other disadvantaged or marginalised areas or groups” need to be catered to by the school system (Salamanca Framework, 1994). Inclusive education is thus an umbrella term that encompasses educational practices across institutions that are sensitive and responsive to diverse populations of children.
In the Indian context, policies on Education (NPE 1968, NPE 1986, POA-1992 etc) have spoken about how ‘integration’ can be a means to ensure inclusiveness in the school system. The challenge however remains in shifting the onus from the parents and the child to make her/him fit in to making an unchanging school system more dynamic. Creating a community of acceptance is perhaps of foremost relevance then when we talk of inclusiveness in education. The following paper therefore will present analyses and approaches to inclusive education using the following working definition - “Inclusive education is the pairing of philosophy and pedagogical practices that allow each student to feel respected, confident and safe so he or she can learn and develop to his or her full potential.” (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development-Canada 2014) The paper will also examine how education can be made more effective for students with disabilities especially in an English language classroom.
Competence in English: Struggles and Alternatives
- Written by Nidhi Kunwar
National Curriculum Framework (2005) quotes, ‘English in India is a global language in a multilingual country’ (p. 38). Today no one can deny the reality of this statement. Whether it is the corporate world or the government sector, the value and importance of English language is widely acknowledged. Due to its increasing importance every person aspires to be fluent in English.
English proficiency is important but it is also true that every year hundreds of students struggle to achieve mastery in this language. People do not hesitate to spend money and invest time for gaining competence in the English language. The proof of this is the continuous increase in the number of institutes which offer to train proficiency in English in just magical 90 or 120 days! A lot of help books are sold as well in the name of making students competent English language users. Several schools claim ‘English enriched environment’ as one of the main components of their school curriculum. Parents too struggle hard to admit their children in those schools which can make their children masters of this language.