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

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:

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


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Monday, December 14, 2015

[MLE] Policy Brief - Reading Solutions for girls

Policy Brief - Reading Solutions for girls in a multilingual setting

 

The 2015 Echidna Global Scholars Policy Brief has this year been titled Reading solutions for girls; Combating social, pedagogical, and systemic issues for tribal girls' multilingual education in India.
 


The 28 page Policy Brief has been written by Suman Sachdeva, Technical Director Education, CARE India. Here are a few highlights taken from a summary on the brooking website:
  • The current approach to delivering effective multilingual education (MLE) for tribal students where tribal populations are more than 30 percent of the local population and where there are more than three dialects is inadequate overall and ignores gender-specific educational challenges.
  • Although evidence suggests there is a small gender gap in reading ability between tribal girls and boys, in general girls are more heavily impacted by inadequate language skills in the short and long term as they become more vulnerable to drop out and thus unable to complete a full course of education.
  • To address the shortcomings of the current MLE approach, policymakers must look into the social, pedagogical, and systemic barriers tribal girls face when impeded from acquiring reading skills
The paper ends with six "Solutions for Girls' reading", which gives some good recommandations. Obviously a must-read for those of us involved in tribal education and gender!

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, 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,"

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! 

Friday, January 31, 2014

[MLE] MLE Conference: Prof. Jim Cummin's videos are available!

Dear Multilingual Education friends,

Below is some good news from the conveners of the recent Asia MLE WG MLE Conference: the presentation videos from Jim Cummins have been uploaded. Enjoy!

Regards,

Karsten

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Prof. Jim Cummin's videos are available!
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 14:12:38 +0700
From: Asia MLE WG MLE Conference <mleconf2013@gmail.com>


Dear  MLE Participants,
Hope this e-mail finds you well.
I’m pleased to announce that Prof. Jim Cummins’s special presentation videos for 4th International Conference on Language and Education, which was held last November, are now available under conference website. Please access below videos at http://www.lc.mahidol.ac.th/mleconf2013/program.htm
Part 1: Multilingual Education for Social Justice – From Coercive to Collaborative Relations of Power: Part 1 - Introduction
Part 2: Multilingual Education for Social Justice – From Coercive to Collaborative Relations of Power: Part 2 - Psycholinguistic Principles
Part 3: Multilingual Education for Social Justice – From Coercive to Collaborative Relations of Power: Part 3 - Pedagogy for Empowerment
We are still working on PPTs and notes from the conference at the moment. We will inform you once again when all files are available.
Best regards,
Panyaphat
International Conference Secretariat Coordinator

--
Document
Karsten van Riezen
Education
Consultant, LinkedIn Profile
SIL International, South Asia Group
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Monday, January 20, 2014

[MLE] Release of ASER Report - also: Implications for English teaching

Dear multilingual Education friends,

Every year the ASER report provides a great source of data with regards to realities of primary education in rural India. The ASER press release states:
Every year, ASER finds out whether children in rural India go to school, whether they can read simple text and whether they can do basic arithmetic.

Nationally, the proportion of all children in Std. V who can read a Std. II level text remains virtually the same since 2012, at 47%. This proportion decreased each year from 2009 to 2012, dropping  from 52.8% in 2009 to 46.9% in 2012. Among Std. V children enrolled in government schools, the percentage of children able to read Std. II level text decreased from 50.3% (2009) to 43.8% (2011) to 41.1% (2013). Over the last three years, there has been a steady increase in the provision of libraries in schools that have been visited. The All India figure for schools with no library provision
dropped from 37.4% in 2010 to 22.9% in 2013.

Given the changing priorities in education policy and the shift in focus to learning outcomes, we hope that in the next few years there will be much better news to report on children’s learning.
While reflecting on the data, Rukmini Banerji, the director of ASER, wrote in the Hindustan Times an article on "When and how English should be taught in schools". Some quotes:
The figures indicate that about half of all rural children in Class 8 can read a set of simple sentences and of those who can read about three-fourths can explain the meaning of what they have read. - See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/comment/analysis/when-and-how-english-should-be-taught-in-schools/article1-1166370.aspx#sthash.lllnv1NR.dpuf
When and how English should be taught in schools
When and how English should be taught in schools
When and how English should be taught in schools
When and how English should be taught in schools
The figures indicate that about half of all rural children in Class 8 can read a set of simple sentences [in English] and of those who can read about three-fourths can explain the meaning of what they have read.

Time and again, the NCF 2006 focus group paper on the teaching of English dwells on the need to help children learn their first language well. Looking at our own realities, it is essential that we must develop our own ways of bridging between languages and creating our own processes for language development within and across languages

More often than not, the weakness in learning a new language has less to do with the new language and more to do with lack of capability, competence and confidence in the original language. Second, if children have print material around them — books, stories, posters, newspapers, slogans — the more they learn how to deal with print. This is true regardless of the language. (ASER 2012 figures indicate that apart from textbooks, less than 20% of rural households have any material to read.)

We have found that children respond well to texts that have both languages interspersed. This is different from bilingual texts where both languages are placed side by side.

We have found that children respond well to texts that have both languages interspersed. This is different from bilingual texts where both languages are placed side by side. - See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/comment/analysis/when-and-how-english-should-be-taught-in-schools/article1-1166370.aspx#sthash.lllnv1NR.dpuf
We must encourage children to have fun in using language differently and appropriately in different situations for different purposes. Serious investment in building strong foundations in language skills will reap rich dividends in all the languages that children use. Whether Hindi, English or any other language, our approach to children in our fertile language landscape must be connected to our realities and suited to our condition, capabilities, needs and uses.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

[MLE] ECCE- Article: The Word and the World

Dear MultiLingual Education friends,

Against the backdrop of the new Early Childhood Care and Education policies Prof Shivali Tukdeo recently wrote an article in the Indian Express titled The Word and the World . A few quotes:
The inclusion of home or local languages in preschool is a step in the right direction, for educational as well as social reasons.

Evidence-based studies on early childhood and research in educational psychology and cognition suggest that exposure to multiple languages can facilitate early development.
Given the interactive nature of early learning, home languages and local vernaculars would be excellent resources to introduce the child to the rhymes, rhythms and stories of a world that she inhabits. With the inclusion of mother tongues and local vernaculars in preschools, many neighbourhoods and localities, with their different stories, will enter the realm of school.
If the responses to the recent textbooks in Santhali, Gondi and Kok Barok are any indication, Adivasi children want to see their languages in school. The development of local languages as languages of knowledge production and dissemination will be crucial in democratising our education.
The language debate would be more productive if it were not framed within the binaries of either-or. The proposal to introduce mother tongues or home languages is not against English, and should not be taken to be so.

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!)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

[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)