Showing posts with label mother tongue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mother tongue. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

[MLE] Textbooks in 5 tribal languages released




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] 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.

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 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."

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?"

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Learning in English and mother tongue are not mutually exclusive

 

Kieran Cooke from the Universal Learning Solutions, claims that if a synthetic phonics approach for literacy is taken governments do not need to choose between the mother tongue and e.g. English but can do both simultaniously.

The article on the World Education Blog  describes a Synthetic phonetic approach to reading as :
"This approach teaches pupils letter sounds (for example, mmm not em, sss not es) and how to blend those sounds together to read words (so d-o-g makes ʻdogʼ). At the same time they learn how to write words by segmenting a word into its sounds, and then forming letters for those sounds."

It then gives some examples from Africa which proof that also for non Mothertingue English children this approach gives better results than conventional methods. There is also a reference to India:

"One study using this approach with Kannada-speaking children in India shows that synthetic phonics in English is more effective if it is introduced in the mother tongue first. Teaching in the mother tongue for one term gives the pupils enough time to learn the letter sounds of their mother tongue and read simple words. It provides enough time for pupils to read and write confidently before the language of instruction changes to English, often in upper primary or lower secondary. "

The blog post concludes:
"It is clear, therefore, that there is need for children to read and write confidently in both English and their local language. However perhaps we need not have to choose between whether pupils should learn to read and write in English or their local language"

It is a bit questionable if these claims are really about language or more about a good reading method, but nevertheless the statements are worth some deliberation.

Thanks to Lissa Davies for the tip.
Regards,
Karsten
http://www.mle-india.net/

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.
"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

[MLE] A sad story from Nepal

Dear multilingual education friends,

Usually newspaper articles report on something new starting. This time Republic in Nepal reports on a failing project. The article Multilingual education fails to attract students in Jhapa points out that due to book supply challenges and resistance from the parents, several MLE classes have stopped.  It would be interesting to investigate further what is going on there. If you know any background on this, please put your comments on the MLE-India blog just below this entry. A few quotes:
In Jhapa district, more than three dozen schools had been conducting classes in around half a dozen local languages, including Rajbanshi, Limbu, and Santhal. However, many of these schools could not implement the mother-tongue based education after stakeholders criticized the use of local languages as the medium of instruction.
It seems one of the problems was with the teachers:
Jhapa had introduced a provision of hiring teachers who knew local languages, but the plan faltered as teachers who could teach in local languages were not available.
But is seems the main issue is:
“Parents want their children to learn English rather than their own mother tongues,”

Friday, March 28, 2014

[MLE] PAK moves to declaring mother tongues as national languages

Dear multilingual education friends,

There seem to be some significant moves in the language policies of our northern neighbour Pakistan. The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage earlier this months "declared major mother tongues as national languages and pledged not to allow 1linguiside'  of rich mother tongues" A few quotes from the article  NA panel for declaring mother tongues as national languages:

This one was new to me:
Punjabi scholar Saeed Farani said many verses in the Holy Quran have emphasised the importance of mother tongue and all Sufi poetry was in local languages.
With regards to MLE:
They urged the federal and provincial governments to take concrete steps for imparting education in mother tongues, as several regional languages were rapidly disappearing.
On regional versus national:
The resolution acknowledged that all mother tongues of Pakistan belonged to the whole country, rather than just one particular area and that all mother tongues were rooted in Pakistan’s soil in entirety and thereby derived their national status.

Friday, February 21, 2014

[MLE] Congratulations with International Mother Language Day!

Congrats, Multilingual Education Friends, today is International Mother Language day!


A nice description on West-Info-eu is given as follows:

Today 21st February , the International Mother Language Day is celebrated. Proclaimed the first time in 1999 by UNESCO, it is an important initiative to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multiculturalism. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh. However, due to globalization processes, languages are increasingly under threat  to the point that more than 50% of the 7,000 idioms spoken worldwide are likely to die out within a few generations and 96% of these languages are spoken by a mere 4% of the world’s population. The aim of this event, then, is to promote and develop fuller  awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.

In Odisha the mother language day was celebrated in the presence of 500 tribal leaders from 20 different districts and, hurray, the theme of the meeting was: Mother Tongue is the need for early childhood education. At the Imphal celebration it was emphasized that Manipuri should be developed as a link language. Even in the Lok Sabha attention was given to the day with a plea for the recognition of Bojpuri.

For this occasion Vasant Shetty wrote on IBN/CNN an article on Time for India to implement a multi-lingual policy. A quote:
Current language policy of the European Union holds a classic testimony on how linguistic diversity should be celebrated and not cursed. Remember, Europeans learnt this lesson in a bitter way after the devastating Second World War! 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

[MLE] Webinar on January 27: Transition from Mother Tongue

Dear multilingual Education friends,

Next week on Monday the 27th there will be a webinar on "Using an Additional Language as the Medium of Instruction: Transition in Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education" The Webinar will be led by Dr Agatha van Ginkel who I happen to know as we both speak the same mother tongue: Dutch! Dr van Ginkel has a wide experience on as well the grassroot level as in national and international level projects. Highly recommended! Note in the below announcement that you need to sign up as the space is limited.

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. " 

Monday, September 23, 2013

[MLE-ECCE] National ECCE policy approved

Dear "multilingual education" and "early childhood education" friends,

Congratulations, the union cabinet the other day approved the National ECCE policy. The official press statement you can read here:  National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Policy. The policy is strong on the use of the mother tongue of the children. In the press this is mentioned, but does not get major attention. The article "Govt fixes size, language, nap time for playschools" in the Times of India e.g  simply states: "The norms also specify that the primary medium of instruction will be mother tongue or local language". Maybe later, one of the quality news magazines will zoom in to the issue. For now we can celebrate with this milestone!

Monday, September 16, 2013

[MLE] : The ECCE has hit the press

Dear multilingual education friends,

Several of us have had input in the drafting of the Early Childhood Care and Education policy (ECCE) on request by the Women and Child Development Ministry.  It clearly states at several places that the use of the mother tongue of the children is the preferred medium. E.g.:
The mother tongue or home language of the child will be the primary language of interaction in the ECCE programmes. However, given the young child‟s ability at this age to learn many languages, exposure to the national/regional language and English in oral form as required, will also be explored.
This weekend the policy hit the press with the language issue in focus. Yesterday on the front page of the Delhi version of the  Indian Express was an article titled: "Govt wants Playschools to mind Language, go Vernacular" and today a similar article was published: Speaking in Tongues.

Unfortunately, as newspapers tend to do, the articles look for controversy rather than consensus.  The articles contrasts the use of the vernacular with English instead of emphasising that the policy, at least from my perspective, tries to keep them in parallel. Let us see if other media will be picking this up also and report on it in a more balanced fashion. (Note: Last week The Times of India had an article on  Centre plans to regulate playschools, creches, which did not mention the language issue at all!)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

[MLE] Outlook article on PLSI points out the value of MLE

Dear Multilingual Education friends,

This week there are lots of articles in the media about the language situation in India because of the release of the People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) results. The Outlook Article: Speaking of us links the issue of language loss and language celebration to the need for multilingual education. It starts with touching story about a tribal girl getting a second chance in a multilingual school in Gujarat after she failed in the regular system:
“Why did you not learn anything at school?” Chaudhary Rekha, the teacher, asks. ... “Because our teacher, whenever he came, always taught in Gujarati,” she says softly in Dungra Bhili. A year at the Tejgadh-based Adi­vasi Academy’s Vasant Bahubhashi Shala has changed that. She can now read and write with much greater fluency. And all thanks to classes in a language she can finally understand.
Some other quotes:
Those who have worked for the PLSI agree that offering multilingual education, something few states practise with either dedication or efficiency, is undoubtedly one of the best ways to protect our lesser-known languages in the long run. One of the many formal suggestions the PLSI intends to make to the government includes a pitch to facilitate optional education in a child’s mother tongue at the primary level. “We have somehow remained stuck with the notion that schools can teach only in one language, whereas we need multilingual schools that use many languages as the medium of instruction,” says Devy.

This multilingual model is something the Adivasi Academy in Baroda district has adopted in over 60 special training centres. Here, students are taught Gujarati in their mother tongue (mostly Dungra Bhili and Rathawi) before they head out to their schools later in the day so that they do not fall behind in their  classes.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

[MLE] We are just a few steps away from making mother tongue based early childhood education a reality for 1.4 million tribal children in Odisha

Dear multilingual Education friends,

"We are just a few steps away from making mother tongue based early childhood education a reality for 1.4 million tribal children in Odisha" is quite a bold statement coming from State Convener of Odisha Adivasi Manch Ido Manda in presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. It was said at the occasion of the launching of a  Mother Tongue based Multilingual Early Childhood Education Learning Laboratory, a collaborative effort of KISS and Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF). A few quotes from The Indian Express  article title Multilingual Education Launched.:
The CM also reiterated his Government’s commitment to make quality early childhood education in mother tongue a reality for 1.4 million tribal children of the State.

The Early Childhood Development Programme through Mother Tongue based Multilingual Learning Education (MLE) is the first programme of its type in India and is instituted by KISS on its premises jointly with The Netherland-based Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF).

Steps such as regular training of the anganwadi worker and recruitment of teachers from the tribal community would benefit the process, she [Achyuta Samanta]  said and hoped that Odisha would become the first State in the country to have a policy on mother tongue-based multi-lingual early childhood education for its indigenous children.

[MLE] Education activists raise voice in Odisha

Dear Multilingual Education friends,

It is once again that Odisha is in the news with regards to the need to use the mother tongue of the children in the school. This time the initiative to raise a voice was taken by Save the Children (Good to see you name among the speakers, Sanjeev!) and Sikshasandhan. In the context of RTE  a state level consultation on Language, Tribal Education and Right to Education was held in Bhubaneswar last month. A few quotes from the Odishadiary website:
A serious attempt should be initiated to explore the existing gaps to address the problems faced by the linguistic minority children, concerted advocacy efforts should be made by civil society groups, education activists and the government for the necessity of having a state level multilingual education policy (Dr Sanjeev Rai)

Government has taken some initiatives in this regard meanwhile, but it needs to be expedited and institutionalized across the state as soon as possible. This would minimize the high dropout rate among the tribal children and language should not be a barrier for the tribal children to join the school to fulfil the basic essence of the Right to Education Act (Prof D.P. Patnaik)
all the major commission including the Kothari commission has specifically advocated for mother tongue as the medium of instruction for a minimum of five to eight years in the primary stage, as the level of competency in mother tongue decide the prospect of efficiency in other languages including English. - See more at: http://www.orissadiary.com/CurrentNews.asp?id=43445#sthash.nkJXxfET.dpuf

... all the major commission including the Kothari commission has specifically advocated for mother tongue as the medium of instruction for a minimum of five to eight years in the primary stage, as the level of competency in mother tongue decide the prospect of efficiency in other languages including English. (Prof Ajit Mohanty)

... the mushrooming of English-medium education is going to kill all creativity and innovation as they lack a solid foundation of understanding, which is possible through mother- tongue only (Dr Mohit Mohanty)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

[MLE] Madia children learn in their Mother Tongue (The Hindu)

Dear multilingual education friends,

Madia children in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh now have the opportunity to learn different subjects in their mother tongue. This used to be impossible in the past due to the double burden of learning various subjects in unfamiliar languages such as Marathi in Maharashtra or Hindi in Chhattisgarh and learning either language in each state. So the following statement makes sense to them now.
“Language (Madia) becomes a major issue in early years of education as it is not just a medium of communication but a link to the entire culture and values of a race.”
For the entire article for Madia medium MLE school in early stage in Lok Biradari Ashram School, click the below link. Nurturing one's own language

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Celebrating two years of MLE India Blog plus the Mother Language Day


Happy International

Mother Language Day!


Remembering the International Mother Language Day is a good excuse to also celebrate the two years existence of the MLE and India Web Blog. You have been of great support to make that site work well.
Here are some of the statistics:

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.