Advantage of conducting online exams in regional languages

Online Exams in Regional Languages

Online Exams is becoming norm for many educational entities in India. However majority of the exams are being conducted in English language.

India is a diverse nation of several languages and dialects. Hindi is one among the official languages, and a large part of the population speaks Hindi. There are states that are not familiar with Hindi. English is commonly spoken in metros and within the professional circles and is also recognized as an official language. However, a sizeable part of India’s population does not speak English.

There is also a part of the population who are familiar with English but do not speak. Did you know that only 10% of India’s population can speak English? A large percentage of India’s literates are well-versed in other languages.  In a country like India with a diverse population, the importance of regional language can never be underestimated.

The Significance of regional Language in a multi-linguistic society

In Dean’s words “Language is a response to experience and rich experience is essential to language development.” Regional language helps the growth of a race by transmitting the essence of culture to the next generations.

It is by the activity of the native language that a community is formed. It also serves as a medium of growth. The intellectual life of a community or race is preserved and communicated in the native tongue. The regional language is also a prime index of intelligence, culture, and personality.

How does Regional Language Aid Teaching in society?

 A recent research revealed that children who are taught in the language spoken at home or within the community for the first eight years of their lives develop good language abilities in all other languages. It is also said that these children do well in other areas of study which the scientists associate with the overall brain development

It might come as a surprise to many that education in one’s local tongue can improve the mental ability of children. There is a theory called the Sapir- Whorf principle that tells that a person’s language has an immense impact on his cognitive abilities.

Can you think of words in your native tongue that do not have a suitable or well-matched word in English? Can you think of edible items like local fruits and vegetables with no English name? You can think of several such examples. There are certain aspects of a native tongue that cannot be compensated by foreign languages.

In summary, children educated in regional language imbibe the benefits of thought process that has passed on for thousands of years. Not to mention, there are several cultural specifics, concepts and also certain philosophical doctrines that can be taught only in the native language.

Learning in a known language improves the quality of education for all learners across all age groups.  Furthermore, it is believed that educating in the native tongue can develop the foundation skills of a society like literacy and critical thinking.

What difference does regional language make in the use of technology?

The Internet has changed the way we look at the world. With technology taking over human force in all areas of living, making the benefits of technology available in a regional language can change the nation for the better.

As stated earlier, a large section of the Indian population is not familiar with English and hence shy away from the use of technology. When something as basic as internet and content of important websites is available in regional languages, they pave the way for more than 60% of the urban population of India to access websites on a regular basis.

A study conducted by a social media research agency called Mindshift revealed some surprising results on vernacular websites.  It was noted that the growth rate of vernacular websites was much higher at 56% when compared to English websites that grew at 11%.
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With more than 29% of India’s internet users in rural areas, several companies are heavily investing in building the regional language internet. With tech giant Google’s initiative, a group of companies has been roped in to promote regional content online.

To sum it up, the benefits of making technology, especially internet available in a regional language is listed below:

  • To Internet access can be made available to the most interior parts of the country
  • It will serve as a source of knowledge to the less privileged
  • It will help students and elders with limited access to books and libraries
  • There will be better growth in the smaller towns

The Benefits of Conducting Online Exams in Regional Language

When technology can be modified to make internet content available in regional languages, making online exams available in native languages can benefit the society in several ways. According to IMRB, if the internet is made available in all regional languages of India, it will spread the reach of technology to 10.72 million of India’s rural population, which approximates it to 43%.

Following are a few ways in which availability of online exams can benefit the society:

  • It helps in the growth of literacy in smaller towns and cities of India
  • It improves job opportunities for people who have no source of livelihood
  • It improves prospects for people with a dying ancestral occupation or livelihood
  • It will promote development and growth across all section of the society
  • Online exams in state languages can present unlimited opportunities to the students in the smaller towns just like their counterparts in the urban areas
  • It helps in the better assessment of the students
  • It eliminates the barrier faced by students who are not well versed in the English language
  • It can make education available to even the largely marginalized societies and tribal communities with limited scope for education
  • Availability of online exams in native tongue can encourage the academically-weak students to choose certificate programs that might improve their job opportunities.

Some of the case Studies of managing online exams in regional language

  1.  Gujarat University is conducting Online Exams for their CCC certification using language options of English and Gujarati. Candidate can view question paper in preferred language and appear for online exam.
  2.  One of the multinational organisation is building franchisee network across India and want to assess person for their entrepreneurship ability. Online Exam is being conducted in the preferred language of the user. 7 options of the languages is added so that user can appear for exam in preferred language. Result is analyzed to check entrepreneurship ability or preference of the user.

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