Friday, December 3, 2010

[MLE] Outcomes of MDG conference in Thailand

Dear MLE friends,

Last month the International conference on “Language, Education and the Millennium Development Goals” took place. About 400 participants from all over the world were present. High government officials from China and other countries used the conference to learn more about the language issue and my understanding is they are already following this up with action. From India we had Sanjeev  Raj (Save the Children), Ft Mahipal Bhuriya (Adivasi Navotthan Sanstha), Abraham Jose (Nirman) and Dhir Jingran (Room to Read) present (maybe more that I am not aware of).
The Unesco website reports ...

The three-day forum provided a platform to share ideas and inspire action to increase access to education and development for ethno-linguistic communities by increasing understanding of the linkages between language and achieving the MDGs and EFA; fostering connections among a broad set of actors to support activities that integrate language and education as cross-cutting themes in achieving the MDGs and EFA; and informing policy makers and development partners on good practices to effectively incorporate language and education into strategies and policies to achieve the MDGs and EFA ahead of the 2015 deadline.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

[MLE] Sadri school started

Dear MLE friends,

The Calcutta edition of The Telegraph reported last week the start of a Sadri MLE school:

    The Adivasi Sahitya Sabha is gearing up to start a unique school where Adivasi students will get the opportunity to study in the popular Adivasi language — Sadri.
    “The school will help the students to learn fast and make their classes interesting. Even if the students shift to other languages later, they will face less problems after continuing a few years in their mother tongue,” he said.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

[MLE] Symposium/workshop in Guwahati

Dear MLE friends,

Last month Guwahati University, in collaboration with SIL, organised a 10 day MLE workshop-cum-Symposium on Mother Tongue Based MLE. Prof. dr. Jyotiprakash Tamuli reports:
The content was designed in a systematic order to not only show the background rationale as to why MTB-MLE is needed, but also to demonstrate the various steps which are needed to ensure strong foundations in the mother tongue before transitioning into 2nd and/or 3rd languages. The mornings tended to be presentation/theory-oriented, while the afternoons were given over to practical sessions and/or case studies. Most people used PPTs for their presentations, and included various types of group work within their presentations to ensure maximum involvement by participants.”
About 30 people participated from the university as well as DIETs, SCERT, some schools and NGOs. Attached is a translation of a newspaper clippings.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

[MLE] Language, Education and the Millennium Development Goals Conference - Nov. 9-11, 2010

Dear MLE friends,

After the below language related conference announcement was send out, several of you asked for more details. At that time they were available but now it is. See attached.

[MLE] Dissertation on: Language, Education, and Empowerment, Dr Cynthia Groff

Dear MLE friends,

Some of you know Cynthia Groff as she did extensive research in India on multilingualism. Her dissertation on "Language, Education, and Empowerment: Voices of Kumauni Young Women in Multilingual India" has now been published on the web:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

[MLE] Report on a well functioning MLE project in Orissa

Dear MLE friends,
It is not often that I write something on this list about a personal experience. But I am so enthusiastic about an MLE programme I visited last week as an external evaluator, that I would like to share about it.

Two of my assumptions were challenged. 1. NGOs do adult education; governments do primary education. 2. NGOs and government schools are in competition with each other. Doubly wrong! Here was an NGO successfully strengthening the primary schools in the villages by running MLE classes for children. The NGO, Asha Kiran Society, Lamptaput, Orissa, is running MLE classes in 15 villages. I visited 4 villages, observed classes and talked extensively with the village leaders.

Sitting under a tree talking with the villagers, I asked them if the teachers of the MLE programme do actually show up. A whole choir of voices responded with an “Of course”. They explained that the MLE teachers even ask permission from their Village Education Committee if they need to be absent for a day. Otherwise, they are there every day. Several wanted to speak up when I asked if they liked the programme: “Our children learn our own language, our own customs and stories”. “Our children are eager to attend school and take a bath and wash their hands on their own initiative”, etc. The class observations confirmed this. I observed maths games, big book reading, creative writing, singing, dancing, etc. The children were present and engaged. The drop-out rates, even after three years,were low.
There were challenges, too. In one village it was very hard to find an educated person to do the teaching. The new teacher, whose formal education stopped after 9th, had difficulty himself in reading the big book. In some places the villagers have a hard time to provide a meeting place. We sometimes felt that the independent reading could be better.

Several village education committees shared with me that before the NGO MLE programme started the government school teachers would hardly ever show up and, if they were there, would not do much teaching. But, when the MLE classes started running before or after school hours, the MLE programme started to positively influence the government school. Parents and children put more pressure on the teachers to come and teach. Teachers started to note that the children became more “teachable”.

Monday, October 25, 2010

[MLE] Q-A brochure from the Philippines

Dear MLE friends,
Question-Answer type of leaflets can be very helpful in interacting with Government officials and NGO leaders. Attached is an A4 size simple 20 point brochure to explain MLE in the Philippines context. Most points also apply to India.