Language Woes Worst Enemy For Bengal Techies
They might be toppers in their engineering colleges; they might have the brains of a tech-guru or might be Einstein in the making. However, something certainly goes wrong with these techies from Bengal when it comes to job interviews. Past trends and numbers reveal a shocking failure report of many engineering graduates from the state, at the interview level. What wraps up these techies at personal interaction levels is simple yet, quite deep rooted.
With brains running faster than their tongues can, many of the engineering college graduates from Bengal and neighbouring states in India almost go numb when it comes to job interviews, presentations, group discussions and similar interactive sessions. Dreading to come face to face with the language problem that many of these students experience; they at times avoid such interactions to the best of their ability.
Coming from areas where English and Hindi, the otherwise most commonly used languages in the country, are low priority in schools and colleges; these techies with super brains, fumble for words at occasions where language other than their mother-tongue is required.
Companies coming for campus placements and job hunts are unaware of this turmoil going on inside their heads. As they struggle with appropriate words, their tongue makes their brain look much weaker than it actually is. The result is rejection at a point where it matters most.
Statistics reveal that around 40-50 percent engineering graduates from Bengal have been rejected in placement interviews in the past few years. In today’s times of economic slowdown, companies do not have the patience to struggle with language problems. So they prefer to choose the candidates who can convey their point well, over those who might be better trained, with better brains and marks.
Those who do get selected, have to enrol in English speaking classes side by side, so as to hone their language skills and grab opportunities which come their way.
Despite many English medium schools in the area, Bengalis still prefer the mother tongue to teach and learn. With least stress on learning English and Hindi, students do not get appropriate exposure and remain within their cocoons, till rejection shocks it open.
While many engineering colleges feel that teaching communication skills is not part of their curriculum, there are others in the state, which have started language laboratories to enhance the communication skills of their students. Personality development classes stress on the need to interact and convey one’s point appropriately. The need to learn English in order to improve the placement status of the college is being recognised finally.
The fact that more than 50 per cent of engineering graduates are unable to express themselves clearly despite their sharp technical skills, has opened the eyes of authorities which are taking corrective action now. The problem is faced more by the students coming from private institutes in the state, as compared to those from state run institutes.
English might not be needed on the shop floor and the local language or Hindi suffices there. However, when it comes to managerial level discussions, meetings with foreign delegates or inter-company and intra-company interactions, English sure is the language. It is at this point that many shy away from such situations, even at the cost of their future growth prospects.
What’s worse is the fact that the language problem faced by these engineers from Bengal, often manifests into lack of confidence and exposure, in addition to poor interpersonal skills.
The need is therefore to nip the problem in the bud. The government needs to take steps in ensuring the use of English language from the grassroots levels of education and upwards.
Schools need to stress the use of English in daily interactions. Colleges too need to have better organised personality development classes, with stress on communication skills, presentation and interpersonal skills. For, it is important to recognise that knowledge alone is not sufficient, the communication of it is equally important for growth.
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