Maharashtra’s new State Curriculum Framework focuses on use of the mother tongue

It is at the state level that the National Curriculum Framework really needs to be reshaped. Last month, the government of Maharashtra published  their draft State Curriculum Framework for the foundational stages of education. It is good to see the emphasis on using the mother tongue in the first years of education, but as the document seems to be mainly a copy and paste from the National Curriculum Framework, it needs to be seen how much this framework is really owned by the politicians and implementers.

The state Government of Maharashtra introduced, just last month, a new curriculum framework for the foundational stage of education. This State Curriculum Framework (SCF) places emphasis on the use of a child’s mother tongue as the primary medium of instruction in the early years or foundational stages (age 3‒8). The curriculum states that it aims for students to be able to read and write by class 3. According to the Hindustan Times article: “The framework—State Curriculum Framework for the Foundational Stage (SCF-FS)—places a strong emphasis on the use of a child’s mother tongue or home language as the primary medium of instruction for early education.”

The implementation of this curriculum at the ground level will likely be challenging. The Hindustan Times quotes a pre-primary Mumbai teacher who has the following to say about the challenges of introducing multiple languages at the foundational level:

“In cities like Mumbai, even though Marathi-speaking people also prefer their first language as English rather than Marathi, there are very few non-Marathi parents in the city who prefer to choose Marathi as a second language, especially parents from international boards.” 

Important decisions will need to be made on which languages will be chosen. According to the Census of India (2011, MAHARASHTRA Language Profile), 231 mother tongues are claimed to be spoken.

However, the fact that there is a commitment to using the language of the children in the classroom is encouraging!


Karsten in collaboration with Upasana

PS: As this draft of the State Curriculum Framework has only been published in Marathi, this post is  based entirely on secondary sources.