Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts

Thursday, September 28, 2017

[MLE] Is multilingual education encouraging violence or peace?

Expert panel in debate.  Photo by Natalie Lovenburg

While visiting government officials I have often come across the assumption that multilingual education would foster separation movements and therefore violence. Recently a panel called "Linguistic tolerance as a tool for resiliency in multilingual societies against violence and radicalization" addressed this issue. As this is also relevant for India I post the reference here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

[MLE] Textbooks in 5 tribal languages released




 

Last month textbooks in 5 tribal languages and 2 regional languages were released by the government of Jharkhand. They have been distributed to around 1,000 schools in 8 districts for initiating the Mother-Tongue-Based Multilingual Education programme in Jharkhand.

The languages covered by this initiative are the Santhali, Mundari, Ho, Kurukh and Kharia tribal languages and the Odia and Bangla regional languages. A six-minute video clip was made for the occasion. It pictures a tribal boy who is sad because he feels alienated from the school and other children as he does not speak Hindi. He is crying and does not want to go to school any more. Then his mother talks with the school leadership and things start changing as they allow the tribal language to be used in the school. The clip also contains several short interviews with teachers, and we get a glimpse into how the new textbooks are used. The clip is in Hindi.

Monday, March 20, 2017

[MLE] Positive Research Results East Timor


We are often asked for research evidence with regards to the impact of MLE. Even though the below write up is not on a project in India, it seems to have enough similarity to make it relevant to take note of. The Endline survey of the pilot is showing that MLE children do better in particularly reading.

In the article Building bridges through multilingual schooling: a mother-tongue pilot in East Timor is showing the way, Kerry Taylor-leech writes with enthusiasm about the classes she observed. “The children love it and I too am enjoying myself immensely.”. About the evaluation report she states:
the survey compared children’s performance in EMBLI schools, government schools and Portuguese-immersion schools. Not surprisingly, the results show the benefits of learning in a language a child understands best. EMBLI children showed marked gains compared to the other children, especially in reading

[MLE] Mother Language day - Updates and Resources

International Mother Language Day 2017 (Image source- en.unesco.org)

In the week of the International Mother Language Day there are usually extra postings related to language and education. Particularly because this year the theme is: “Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education”. It is also a good excuse to list a few (new) resources.

The postings in the India Express and India Today are quite general in nature with some quotations from Unesco and background on the history of the day. WebIndia reports that activist used the day to demand linguistic parity for the regional languages. Chanpreet Kaur published an interview with Dr Mukti Sanyal on How the focus on English could be seriously damaging India's future with an interesting link to self-esteem: “We are losing our mother languages. And with it, we are losing self esteem, different ways of seeing the world, and encouraging the mugging up of the concepts”. Scroll.in used the opportunity to dig into history: Which 'mother language' did India's lawmakers want after Independence? A nice news item is that the goverment of Bengal gave Kurukh language an official status and a promise that Rajbangshi/Kamtapuri will also be given that status.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

[MLE] English compulsory

Panel of secretaries recommends to make English a compulsory
Copyright: Financial Express

Earlier this month a panel of secretaries from the Group on Education and Social Development has recommended to make English a compulsory subject in all schools beginning from class VI, and to start at least one English-medium school in each of the 6,612 blocks in the country.

This news was reported in the Indian Express and the Financial Express a couple of weeks ago. I had hoped by now a few more details would have come out, as the panel aims for its implementation by this April. However the newspapers remain silent about it.
The panel claims that this recommendation is in line with the three language formula by that it still allows the medium of instruction be the mother tongue, while English will have to be added as either number two or three. The advise goes against the RSS recommendation of last October that suggested that "the medium of instruction from elementary to higher levels in schools should be the mother tongue and English should not be compulsory at any level."

These same discussions are very common in the field. I e.g. recall an NGO working in Maharashtra that taught the children in their tribal language, but added English , rather than Hindi, from the start to keep the parents motivated to send their children to school. Pedagogically not the most sound method, but it definitely boosted the parents participations!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

[MLE] Conference on Language and Education starting tomorrow

5th International Conference on Language and Education will start tomorrow

 


The 5th International Conference on Language and Education will  take stock of recent developments in MLE policies and practices in the Asia-Pacific region, with a special focus on multilingual education in early childhood and primary education.There will be several presentations relevant to India.
 
The conference will start tomorrow with opening speeches from UNESCO and the Thai government. The Keynote address will be on "Supporting MTB­MLE to achieve sustainable development for all: what have we learned about successful programs?" by Dr Susan Malone (SIL International). Some of the India related presentations are:

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

New Education Policy: What does it say about language?

New Education Policy India

In 2015, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) initiated a consultation process for the formation of the New Education Policy (NEP). The full draft plan has not yet been released to the public but an input report has been published. The report includes several references to language including multilingual education.


Image Credit: Flickr/ Yorick_R (CC BY 2.0)


The background of the New Education Policy (NEP) and the reason for the slow process are given in the article published earlier this month India’s New Education Policy: Creeping 'Saffronization'? The aim of the new policy was "to respond to the 'changing dynamics of the population’s requirement with regards to quality education, innovation and research' and help the country move towards becoming a knowledge superpower.". The Diplomat reports that the process was slowed down because of saffronization acquisitions.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Language and the Sustainable Development Goals - UN Symposium

British Council Panel

Symposium: Language and language differences tend to get taken for granted by planners


The Study Group on Language and the United Nations, an independent group of scholars and practitioners on matters related to language, convened a symposium on Language and the Sustainable Development Goals in New York, on 21 and 22 April 2016.  Its goal was to examine the importance of issues of language in the formulation, implementation, and successful completion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 


Friday, April 8, 2016

MLE: India related MLE research

Research paper: Language and language-in-education planning in multilingual India

It is fun to note when a good friend publishes on multilingual education in India. Dr Cynthia Groff has visited India many times and did her PhD research on the language and education situation among the Kumauni people in Uttarakhand.
 

The full tittle of the paper is "Language and language-in-education planning in multilingual India: A linguistic minority perspective." and is based on Nancy Hornberger's language policy and planning seminar. The abstract states: "This article explores India's linguistic diversity from a language policy perspective, emphasizing policies relevant to linguistic minorities". Here are the details:
While talking about relevant papers, many of the presentations presented at the 2015 British Council Conference on Multilingualism are now uploaded on the website. Dr Pamela MacKenzie selected a few for this mailing list she wrote (Thanks Pam!):
"The Language and Development Conference run by the British Council and held recently in Delhi had a number of very interesting presentations.  While I could not attend the conference itself, many of the presentations are very helpfully on You Tube.  These can be found under Plenary and Featured speakers here
There were several presentations focusing on Africa, such as one by Birgit Brock-Utne on the political confusion in the use of language in education, and others focussing on Asian countries including Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, which may have some relevance to India, but here are a few highlights relating specifically to India:

Thursday, February 4, 2016

[MLE] 5th International Conference on Language and Education - Bangkok Oct 16

5th International Conference on Language and Education

 

The International Conferences on Language and Education, which have been organized by a large group of agencies in Asia, have over the years impacted many projects in India. The 5th one will be held this year, again in Bangkok. The following announcement has been copied from the UNESCO MLE Newsletter
 

Asia Pacific Multilingual Education Working Group (MLE WG) will be organizing its 5th International Conference on Language and Education on 19-21 October 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The 5th International Conference on Language and Education will take stock of recent developments in MLE policies and practices in the Asia-Pacific region, with a special focus on multilingual education in early childhood and primary education.
      
It will likewise look at innovative pedagogies in the training of MLE teachers. Finally, it will examine challenges and lesson learned from the EFA experience and give opportunities for forward-looking discussions on both the role of language in achieving the new SDGs and preserving a harmonious relationship between the global and local contexts.

The conference features four thematic tracks.
  • Track 1: Towards Sound Policies on Multilingual Education: Language and Language-in-Education Policy and Planning in Asia and the Pacific.
  • Track 2: MLE Teachers and Teacher Training for MLE
  • Track 3: MLE Practice/Praxis in Early Childhood and Primary Education
  • Track 4: Language and Cross-Cutting Issues of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

The Call for Papers is now open and the deadline for submission is 30 March 2016.
Usually there is quite a few delegates from India. Hopefully that will work out this year also!
Regards,
Karsten


http://www.mle-india.net/

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

[MLE] Language 4x in the news this week





                
 

Language Debate

Language and Education in the news

There is quite some attention for the issue of language in the educational system these days. MHRD,  NCERT, the RSS and the Odisha government were all in the news this week.

 
In the debate about needed educational reforms, the ministry of education takes on the issue of language and the three language formula in particular. Read more in the article: 3rd and foreign language: HRD opens to debate. Quote: "The note also emphasises the importance of "mother tongue-based" education. "While there are some interventions for appointment of language teachers and promotion of classical languages, there is no comprehensive scheme or language policy and we need to have inputs on this dimension," it says."

The press also reports that the Hindu right-wing nationalist organisation RSS made some pro-mothertongue statements : "RSS on Sunday asked the BJP-led Union government and those in states to impart education in the mother tongue of students or constitutionally recognised state languages, saying those educated in a foreign language get "alienated" from their culture and tradition."

In the mean time the Business Standard reports that NCERT held a conference on Inclusion at which multilinguaal education was prominently on the agenda: "The need for inclusion of multilingual education in various courses was among several issues deliberated at a NCERT-organised conference here." (See Conference Brochure).

Last but not at least the Odisha Channel reports on a state level consultation organised by Sikshasandhan in collaboration with Oxfam. As expected a strong support for education of the mothertongue was endorsed.

Monday, February 23, 2015

[MLE] Congrats with Mother Language Day!

2015 Mother Language Day

Every year after Feb 21st, the International Mother Language Day, it is fun to surf the internet to see what is done in India to celebrate the languages that the children speak at home.

 
This year the United Nations has put the spotlights on the educational aspect of celebrating the mother tongue:
"International Mother Language Day is a moment for all of us to raise the flag for the importance of mother tongue to all educational efforts, to enhance the quality of learning and to reach the unreached. Every girl and boy, every woman and man must have the tools to participate fully in the lives of their societies – this is a basic human right and it is a force for the sustainability of all development" (UN Source)

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has send a notice to the English medium schools affiliated with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to mark the occasion with celebrations and contests. The notice reads:
"It has been decided to celebrate Matribhasha Diwas to promote the use and to sensitize people about the need of greater use of mother tongue and other Indian languages for progress of the nation, to impart communication skills and proficiency in mother tongue and other Indian languages amongst English-medium students, to support translations from other languages into mother tongue, to give fillip to popularize adaptation of latest technologies for Indian languages and to encourage people to learn one more Indian language."
However given the late date this was send and the fact that it coincided with exam dates the Times of India reports that it is not likely that many schools will have done anything with the notice.

The Indian blogger Sucharita Sen writes:
"While UN takes its own initiatives to bring about language awareness and tolerance, can we not come together to celebrate our own mother tongue, India being such a rich and diversified sub-continent?"

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

[MLE] Crowdsourcing for MLE project

Dear MLE friends,

The project managers of the Toto mother tongue based multilingual education project in West Bengal have become very creative in their fund raising. Instead of looking for big donors, they are collecting funds via crowd-sourcing. Look at their promotional website and video to learn how they do that.

Besides that, the approach the project is taking is also of interest. Lissa Davies writes "... We have been using Karla's heritage playschool book as our template curriculum. We have since, developed our own curriculum and TLMs, which we are thinking of putting  into a publishable document, given that there must be other communities out there, especially in India, whereby they face the same problems we have faced. " 

Friday, April 19, 2013

[MLE] 4th International Conference on Language and Education, 6-8 Nov. 2013, Bangkok, Thailand

Dear MultiLingual Education friends,


Below is  the invitation and abstract submission call for 4th International Conference on Language and Education which is held from 6 to 8 Nov, 2013, in Bangkok, Thailand. This conference is hosted by 14 national and international organization this year such as UNESCO, UNICEF, Room to Read, SIL International, etc.

Notice that submission deadline of participant’s abstract is by the end of this month and registration deadline is by the end of Aug. (See message from UNESCO below, which includes a list of speakers)

Please visit the conference website for detailed information.
It will be good to have a good representation from India there!

Monday, April 15, 2013

[MLE] 700+ Photos on Education ; Global Partnership for Education


Dear MLE friends,

Global Partnership for Education has uploaded 700+ education photos from around the world on a photo gallery on Flickr. There are 96 photos of schools from different parts of India such as Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, etc. To download those, click the next link.


Please don’t forget to give credit to the photographer and GPE (Global Partnership for Education) and enjoy watching the photos. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

[MLE] A positive newspaper article on MLE pilot projects in Assam

Dear multilingual education friends,

In Assam some good pilots are going on and the press has found them. Last week the attached article appeared in a newspaper in Assam. Interestingly the article highlights that from the boy they feature his English has become better. It seems that is an important point for advocacy because it is English that the society values most. A quote:
"Kisun, however, is an exception. He is the only one in the family who attends an Adivasiya school and can read and write English"

"'Earlier when I was studying in the LP school in the village, I could not understand English or follow any of my lessons. However, after coming to Adivasiya school, I can read and write English to some extent. I have also learned my own language better now.'"
The article then continues to explain more about the school, the pilot project and the brother MLE efforts in the country and worldwide. See Article.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

[MLE] A critical report on the RTE progress

Dear MLE friends,

In April it will be two years since the the Right to Education (RTE) Act was introduced. Forward Press Magazine published a critical article on the progress made thus far:  A Fundamental Wrong: Education for too Few.

The author, Suzana Andrade, makes an interesting comparison with Finland were they also implemented a major education transform several years back: "In 1971, Finland's government realised that the only way to modernise its economy and compete in an increased competitive world was to transform its basic education. According to a recent article in The Atlantic magazine, the secret to Finland's success is that the goal they pursued was not excellence, but equity". On India: "Today, though the policies and rhetoric have changed, the underlying worldview remains: our society continues to prioritise a few and exclude the rest".