Showing posts with label government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label government. 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!

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.

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.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

[MLE] Outlook: In Bastar district kids do not understand their teacher





Outlook reports on language issues in Maoist areas
                        

Dhurwa children at a government school in Permaras

Outlook reporter explores the language factor in Maoist conflict

Debarshi Dasgupta describes himself as a "media fellow exploring linguistic aspects of the Maoist conflict". In that context he looks at schools and at what language goverenment officials use in Bastar district in Chhattisgarh.

 
In the artucle Black Chalk on Board, which will appear in this weeks' issue of Outlook, he explores the case of a eight year old boy, Sundar, from the Dhurwi tribe who after three years of schooling still does not understand a word of his teacher's Hindi:
"Sundar is a good example of how a poorly run education system and a blinkered resolve to teach only Hindi at the primary level, can spawn chronic illiteracy amongst the perfectly able. Chhatt­i­sgarh's tribal children have ended up being a mute lot, overwhelmed by a lan­g­uage they don't understand and intimidated by non-tribal teachers who take them to task if they use their own."
In the article he builds a strong case for the use of the tribal languages in the class and also discusses some of the citics.

In the aricle Language of the Land he critisizes the government for not making it mandatory for officers working in that region to learn a local language. He contrast that with the Maoist whose leaders do make it a point to use the tribal langiuage:
"It is through dedicated linguistic outreach that the Maoists have accentuated their proximity to adivasis and their faith in the tribal cause. Top commanders have acquired near-native skills in Gondi, spoken widely by marginalised tribals in south Chhattisgarh and adjoining areas. Even those Maoists from other tribal communities, including foot soldiers, have had to learn Gondi. "
He concludes:
"Perception matters a lot in this ongoing battle for minds, and being perceived as unfriendly to tribal languages and cultures is one that continues to cost the state dear in this conflict."

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

[MLE] MLE promoted at the State Vision Conclave in Jharkhand


 

Pioneer Article

State Vision Conclave in Ranchi promotes MLE

According to the ASER-2014 report only 1/3 of the grade V children in Jharkhand can comprehend a grade V text. The State Vision Conclave points at language as being a cause for this problem.

 
On 29 January 2015 the Jharkhand government in coopretion with UNICEF conducted a state Vision Conclave at Ranchi, Jharkhand. The new Chief Minister of Jharkhand also participated in the conclave other than several senior officials from govt., more than 25 NGOs, several corporates, language experts and other experts on child development.
 
Dhir Jhingran, in the Education Session, spoke about the need for Mother Tongue based MLE in Jharkhand.The Pioneer reported on his presentation by publishing the following article: 'Mother tongue based multilingual education needed in Jharkhand'

A quote:
According to experts, Santahli speaking children of Dumka and Pakur, Ho speaking children of West Singhbhum, Mundari speaking children of Khunti and Kudukh speaking children of Gumla could learn very fast if the medium of education is their mother tongue. Experts opine that the process can be started on a pilot basis if it cannot be implement at the same time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

[MLE] Good news from Nepal


                                 

Nepal reports positive effects from local language classes

Only a few months ago the Nepal press reported negatively about the multilingual education programs. But this time is different.

The article Start of native language classes ups enrolment states: "According to the District Education Office (DEO), the use of native language has not only proved effective but also helped increase the quality of education."

Fun to read that in this Magar community the program has motivated the parents to send their children to school. If the claims stated by the headmasters and government officials are true, it looks bright for this program. The article also gives some context: "Starting in 2007, the government introduced education on mother tongue in Tamang, Athpahariya, Dhut Magar, Santhali, Rajbansi, Uraw and Rana Tharu languages in seven schools from Rasuwa, Dhankuta, Palpa, Jhapa, Sunsari and Kanchanpur districts.The School Sector Reform Programme has also adopted education in mother tongue and has a plan to introduce it in 7,500 schools by the end of 2015. "

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

[MLE] Lessons in mother tongue for Rajasthan schools


                         

                       
                        

                                 

Lessons in mother tongue for Rajasthan schools

After Andra Pradesh and Odisha, now also Rajesthan wants to implement education in the mother tongue of the children.  The Times of India reports:

"To curb the dropout rates, especially among children in the tribal and remote areas and to instill interest towards learning, Rajasthan State Institute for Education and Training ( SIERT) is set to launch a UNICEF supported pilot project on MTB learning.
Ten schools each in Udaipur, Dungarpur and Banswara districts have been chosen under the project, where children of class one will be given lessons in the local dialect. While Mewari will be the medium of teaching for students in Udaipur, teachers will communicate in Wagri with the scholars in the other two districts.
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Monday, August 11, 2014

[MLE] Odhisa Expands MLE program till class V

Last Month the government of Odisha made a significant move in the expansion of the multilingual education program. The Times of India reports:

"In a bid to extend the mother-tongue based Multilingual Education Programme (MLE), the state government has decided to use mother tongues as medium of instruction for the first five years in primary schools. In these classes, Odia will be taught as the second language from Class II and English will be introduced as a language subject from Class III."


Usha Padhee, secretary, school and mass education department, Government of Odisha affirms the long-term benefits of multilingual education.

It seems that the Odisha government is the first one to take the education in the Mothertongue really serious. Mr Usha Padhee, secretary, school and mass education department states:

"Continuing primary education for the first five years of school in the mother tongue will have several long-term benefits like sustained achievement at school, increased self-confidence and self-proficiency. Also, the children will learn Odia and English better if these languages are introduced when they are older,"

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

[MLE] Siksha Sahayaks to be engaged in MLE in Odisha

Dear multilingual Education friends,

Odisha has for several year be one of the front runners for multilingual education. It wants to expand the program and has decided to recruit teacher assistants ("Siksha Sahayaks") for the program. This move is part of a wider initiative to push the responsibility of the education down to the community. More details can be read in the article titled "Siksha sahayaks to be engaged in MLE". A few quotes:
Although the [MLE] programme had been implemented by transferring teachers with expertise in the tribal language to the MLE schools, absence of adequate number of teachers prompted the Government to engage siksha sahayaks for effective implementation of the programme.
In fact, the Government has already approved a policy on MLE which calls for continuation of the programme and its coverage to all tribal children.
In a latest resolution that seeks to address the issues, the School and Mass Education Department has directed that all functions of elementary education will be transferred in phases to zilla parishad and other panchayati raj institutions. Since MLE is part of the elementary education, it too would follow suit.
Interestingly on the OPEPA Siksha Sahayaks recruitments page Urdu, Bengali and Telegu are mentioned as specific required languages, but nothing is said about speaking tribal languages.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

[MLE] Bihar: teachers are told to use local words in school

Dear Multilingual Education friends,

The Bihar government claims to be the first state to start a language bridge course. Beginning mid-July, teachers in  government primary schools in Bihar will teach class one students Hindi equivalents for words in Bajjika, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Angika and Magahi. To support the implementation dictionaries in these languages are produced also. A quote from the article in The Indian Express:
HRD Principal Secretary Amarjeet Sinha said, "As government schools have mostly students from villages, it's important to provide them a comfort level. They hardly speak Hindi. Teachers, with the aid of the dictionary, will help children pick up Hindi words. The dialect to Hindi dictionary will be primarily for teachers but can be referred to students as well. The idea is to minimise number of out-of-school children.