MLE Related Policies
The Constitution in 1950 lists the official languages in the Eighth Schedule. It originally included 14 languages, but more languages were added in 1992 and 2004 and now it includes 22 official languages of the Republic of India. The Constitution also recognises that there are more languages than those 22.
The Three Languages
Starting in 1956, and with extensive revisions in the 1960s, India developed a three-language formula (TLF). It was first incorporated into the National Education Policy in 1968 by the Indira Gandhi government. Originally it meant, ‘In Hindi-speaking states: Hindi, English, and a modern Indian language (preferably one of the southern languages) and in non-Hindi-speaking states: English, Hindi, and the regional language.’ More details are given below
The National Curriculum Framework (NCF)
The National Curriculum Framework 2005 was made to guide the institutions and schools in encouraging the overall development of the children and the move away from textbook-centric learning. It emphasises the importance of imparting primary education in the mother tongue of the child. The 2022 National Curriculum Framework for foundational stages (NCF-FS) under the National Education Policy, 2020 recommends that the mother tongue should be the primary medium of instruction for children till eight years of age.
National Education Policy 2020 (NEP)
NEP focuses on the mother tongue/home language/local language and its importance in education Sec 4. Curriculum and Pedagogy in Schools. NEP says that wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Grade 5 will be the home language/mother tongue/local language/regional language.(Sec 4.11) The policy also focuses on teacher recruitment and knowledge of the local language as a plus for teacher recruitments. Section 15.1. States that the ‘Teachers must be grounded in Indian values, languages, knowledge, ethos, and traditions including tribal traditions, while also being well-versed in the latest advances in education and pedagogy.’ Part II 9.3. The policy’s vision includes the following key changes to the current system:a. (a) ‘moving towards a higher educational system consisting of large, multidisciplinary universities and colleges, with at least one in or near every district, and with more HEIs(Higher Education Institutions) across India that offer medium of instruction or programmes in local/Indian languages.’