Showing posts with label Hindi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hindi. Show all posts

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!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

UNICEF survey in Jharkhand reveals that 95% of school kids do not speak Hindi

Dear Multilingual Education friends,

At least five newspapers reported on the findings of a recent UNICEF sociolinguistic survey in Jharkhand. The study revealed quite interesting findings with regards to the gap between home language and school language. A few quotes:
The research was carried out in 72 blocks across the 24 districts of the state, covering 216 villages. During the survey, researchers interacted with schoolchildren, their parents, teachers and village leaders. Over 3,000 kids were profiled during the survey.

It was found that mother tongue of over 96 per cent of rural population, including school kids, was tribal or regional languages. While 33 per cent of the children interviewed spoke Santhali at home, 17.5 per cent spoke Khortha, 9.5 per cent Kurukh, 8.2 per cent Nagpuri, 7.6 per cent used Mundari, 6.7 per cent Sadri and 5.6 per cent used Ho. Only four per cent rural families spoke Hindi at home.

92 per cent of the teachers use Hindi to interact with students in schools. Over 90 per cent of the teachers indicated that they can speak tribal or regional language of that area. But since instruction in mother tongue is not mandatory they chose to instruct in Hindi.

Over 78% of the teachers felt that children faced problems in learning because of the language gap of home and school.

The study recommends that the medium of instruction in anganwadi pre-school centres and primary classes in schools should be in the mother-tongue of children, which is tribal or regional language.  The study suggests that material in tribal and regional language should be developed and used in classrooms to bridge gap between the home language and school language. Besides, teachers should be oriented to understand and respect local resources and culture, as well as to communicate with children in local language.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

[MLE]: The Hindu: Let a hundred tongues be heard

Dear multilingual Education friends,

Shrimps back gets broken when whales fight. This is an idiom from Korean, meaning when there is fighting between powerful men, weak people could be a scapegoat of the fighting unless they are very careful. This metaphor seems to fit well in this big fighting between English and Hindi and many other local languages which could be scapegoats of this fighting. The English whale seems to be winning the game as there are scare materials available in Hindi for tertiary level education in Delhi and even many government schools in Karnataka will use English as a medium to compete with English medium private schools. Sumanyu Satpathy, linguist at the University of Delhi, wrote an article on it in the Hindu. A few quotes:
“The domination of English and Hindi is turning Indian education and culture into a depressingly monolingual affair.”
“If you live in any of the Hindi-speaking States, it is likely that every other day you would hear of debates about the future of Hindi. Naturally, the spectacular rise of Hindi is not often talked about in these quarters as a threat to the linguistic diversity in India,”
“the Odisha government has announced that English medium public schools will be set up in three tribal districts in the State. This is going to prove disastrous for the linguistic ecology of India, and consequently for the local cultures.”
 “not an insignificant number of students in premier departments and colleges in Delhi University complain of the dearth of textbook material in Hindi. Elsewhere in India, higher education is also officially available in both English and the State language; but the production of textbooks in the local language is awfully impoverished.”
 “The argument here is not about banning English medium schools; far from it. It is, rather, for strengthening local-language-medium schools, improving their pedagogic tools, and for generating opportunities in the local markets on a par with the globalised market for a healthy linguistic diversity.”