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PTB Intermediate English Book-I needs revision.

LAHORE, May 10, 2009 (Balochistan Times) -- The inclusion of too many translated works on poetry and prose in the Punjab Textbook Board (PTB) Intermediate English Part-I book has failed to win the favour of teachers as well as the students and needs to be revised at the earliest. The PTB revised the intermediate English-I book course in an effort to bring the courses of study at par with the contemporary trends in literature and language some three years back. This effort proved a futile exercise since most of the selection in prose, poetry and drama are translated works of Sindhi, Urdu, Punjabi, Arabic, Persian and French poets and writers. These works may prove good exercises in teaching translation courses rather than English. The teaching of English has always proved an enigma for the students. Since a second language, it has been difficult for our students to learn. Teachers do play a vital role in making it interesting and readable despite all odds. But a difficult and uninteresting selection of syllabus can even make the teaching of English a herculean task . Most of the teachers believe that the present book on English is a mere mockery of English literature. The teachers have to dedicate most of their time in introducing the other languages and literary, social and philosophical trends to the students which becomes difficult to comprehend for a mediocre student. The selections from Allama Iqbal, Bulleh Shah, Jalal-ud-Din Rumi, Sachal Sarmast, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Parrault, Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi and Ghulam Abbas have been part of English courses of study. One wonders the justification behind the inclusion of these courses when the other languages are being taught at the intermediate level. Prof. Sabahat Hussain of Govt. Islamia College Railway Road questioned the justification for inclusion of Urdu writers when Urdu courses are being taught at Intermediate Level. It is interesting to note that Overcoat, a famous short-story by Ghulam Abbas, has been included in the Urdu and English books for Intermediate Part-I. Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi has been twice included in prose and verse selections. Similarly, a kafi by Bulleh Shah (Translated by A.R. Luther) has been included in the Verse section. The translated work is not one of the best translations and it fails to convey the thought and mind of Punjabi Sufi tradition. Moreover, a teacher must make his students understand the definition of Kafi before embarking on the journey of teaching Punjabi poetry. This makes things difficult for a large number of students. Such situations promote rote-learning among students. Prof. Sabina Rehman said that it would be pertinent to call these selections Post-Colonial Literature studies in Prose and poetry rather then books on English literature. A translated work can never be a substitute for original work in any genre. Only great masters can claim originality in translation otherwise it fails to pay dividends. It is right time to compile a selection which carries original works in English literature. The revision of the book would make the understanding of English language easier for he students at this level. It is advisable that the books for Intermediate Part-I and II be revised before the start of new session in August.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:May 10, 2009
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