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Showing posts with the label tribal language

What have the two years of NEP meant for Multilingual Education in India?

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The National Education Policy (NEP) completed two years last month. This is a good reason to ask what the NEP 2020 has meant for multilingual education in India. There has been significant talk about introducing or strengthening  Multilingual Education in various state-level primary schools, but has there been action? The NEP 2020  has brought multilingual education higher on the agenda in India.  As an indicator, I did a quick research in Google and compared the Google hits in the  two years after NEP(2020-22) and two years prior(2018-20). I got 6500 hits since June 2020 when I searched for "Multilingual education" in India, while the two years before that had less than half of that.  The extra attention has caused a wider group of people to be thinking of the issues related to multilingual education. The home minister, for example, recently stated that, when we do not use Indian languages to teach, we are not able to utilise the full potential of the country. He also stress

Jharkhand Tribal languages to be used as medium of Instruction

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When I read the news that “Tribal children in Jharkhand get lessons in their own language”, I checked back with my friend Binay Pattanayak (Senior Education Consultant at the World Bank). I was pleased to note that he confirmed that there are indeed things moving there! There has been a push for tribal schools in Jharkhand to use the local languages since 2015. The development of textbooks in 5 tribal languages (Santhali, Mundari, Ho, Kuruh and Kharia) and 2 regional languages (Bangla and Odia) that were published back in 2016 was a step in that direction. In accordance with the NEP, Jharkhand education department now says that children are to be instructed in their mother tongue till the 3rd standard. 

Happy International Mother Language Day! -Studies in Assam & Webinar

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Happy International Mother Language Day! -Studies in Assam & Webinar Today, as I was running some errands, I noticed a lot of action on the roadside. As someone was talking passionately through a microphone I assumed it was a political rally. But then I heard one phrase coming back again and again: "Matri Bhasha". Of course, I thought, today is International Mother Language Day! That gives me a  good excuse to highlight a new initiative in Assam. It is also a good reason to recommend a webinar multilingual education later today. February 21 is the International Mother Language Day. The day is to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism around the world. The theme of the year 2022 is “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities”.

Tribal Boarding Schools - help or threat? - languages & cultures

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KISS website screen capture A couple of weeks ago I was asking a few colleagues about the famous Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) Boarding school in Orissa. A sponsored Internet article stated that they were involved in mother-tongue-based multilingual education. But this week I came across research which is questioning previously published reports about the tribal boarding schools and KISS in particular.

School Teacher Translates Textbooks

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Ranjitsinh Disale (Photo used with permission from the  Varkey Foundation ) Congratulations to Ranjitsinh Disale on being nominated for a prestigious prize for innovations in girls' education. Good to read that "Disale not only translated the class textbooks into his pupils’ mother tongue, but also embedded them with unique QR codes to give students access to audio poems, video lectures, stories and assignments."

[MLE] Draft National Education Policy

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Reading is hard work, particularly in a language you hardly know!  (Photo Credit: Business Standard) This month there were plenty of articles in the newspaper talking about language and education because of the publication of the Draft National Education Policy (NEP) which stated: “Three-language formula will need to be implemented in its spirit throughout the country, promoting multilingual communicative abilities for a multilingual country.” Of course, there was the controversy around the promotion of Hindi, but there were also plenty of references to the value of multilingual education.

[MLE] Good practices in multilingual education strategies and policy in India

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© United News of India In the previous blog post I reported on the MultiLila Research Project which is going on in India. On July 12 and 13 the consortium behind this research project conducted a meeting “The languages of education in multilingual India: exploring effects on reading and mathematics” at which important aspects of multilingualism and education were discussed. Under the heading " Starting English early not the best way to learn English well " (A quote from Dhir Jhingran) the United News of India reported on some of the issues discussed.

[MLE] Textbooks in 5 tribal languages released

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Last month textbooks in 5 tribal languages and 2 regional languages were released by the government of Jharkhand.   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 Educati

[MLE] English compulsory

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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

New Education Policy: What does it say about language?

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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.

[MLE] Textbooks in five tribal langauges in Jharkhand

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Textbooks in Jharkhand Earlier this week the governor of Jharkhand pleaded that Santhali children should be educated in their mother tongue. It looks like this is indeed going to happen and not only for Santhali, but also Mundari, Ho, Kudukh and Kharia children . The Telegraph reports this week: Ethnic kids of Classes I & II to open new page next year . Binay Pattanayak and his team at the Unicef Jharkhand office has been working closely with the Jharkhand Council for Education, Research and Training (JCERT) to prepare textbooks for langauge and maths for class 1 and 2 in five tribal langauges. The plan is that they will be introduced from the next academic session onwards.

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

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Outlook reports on language issues in Maoist areas                         
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Pre-primary education in tribal language in Kerala Tribal children at an anganwadi in Attappady. Photo: K. K. Mustafah       The Hindu reports that  The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) is planning an educational package for tribal pre-primary children in their own language.    The article titled Pre-primary education in tribal language states: "Anganwadi teachers will use languages of different tribal ethnic groups to impart pre-primary education. The curriculum has been prepared, and it includes details of the origin, history, cultural diversity, and social life among different tribal groups " The given rationale reads: “When these children begin their education, at the pre-primary stage in the anganwadis near their settlements, they find themselves lost. The language used for instruction and communication here is frighteningly strange. The process flows on to the primary level too. Majority of these children drop out

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

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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

RE: [MLE] Multilingual primers for more Anganwadi Centers in Orissa

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Dear multilingual education friends, There is more news on the new developments in Odisha / Orissa. Dharitri Patnaik of the Bernard van Leer Foundation wrote the below response to last week's message. To me the best news is that he reports that the demand is coming from the tribal communities themselves: The persistent campaign by tribals from the villages to the state capital has resulted in this directive. Demands for quality curriculum in tribal languages, recruitment of tribal men and women as teachers, centres in remote tribal hamlets and involvement of communities to monitor education are all part of the campaign.  This is confirmed by some of the newspaper links. It seems that the Odisha Adivashi Mancha (OAM) has been instrumental in this endeavour. DishaDiary reports : The OAM is currently working on details of a strategy to make the new directive effective. "We will meet the Chief