Monday, January 3, 2011

[MLE] Pakistan facing language 'crisis' in schools

Dear MLE friends,

It is not too often that we hear on MLE related issues from our North-Western neighbours. This article in the Guardian discusses a report stating that the Urdu and English dominance in the school "threatens to undermine social cohesion"
"The report's key proposal is to provide teaching to students in the language they are most familiar with and, for the first time, reflect Pakistan's multilingual identity in classrooms. There are more than 70 languages spoken in Pakistan, yet Urdu, the national language and the medium of instruction in the majority of state schools, is spoken by just 7% of the population."
Also good to note the following:
"Coleman says his "wish list" for education reform has been positively received inside Pakistan. He is now in the process of analysing feedback before presenting his final proposals next April."

[MLE] SC comparative research in B'desh

Dear MLE friends,
First of all a happy new year to you all. May 2011 bring improvement to the education situation of the many deprived children in South Asia!

"We need more research, more proof!" is what we often hear. Save the Children in Bangladesh did some research on the impact of an MLE project in the hill tribes. They published it in a 12 page report titled: "Getting ready for school in the Chittagong Hill Tracts:   A comparative analysis of mother-tongue- and national-language-based preschools in Adivasi communities".

A few lines from the concluding paragraph:
"Despite all of these limitations, it is clear from the study that SKPís mother-tongue-based preschools do offer children a significant advantage.  SKP children have better quantitative, communicative, and environmental skills than their peers.  On average, children learning in a MT setting outperformed their non-MT peers by 10 percentage points on a general school readiness assessment and 5 percentage points on an assessment of concepts about print. (...)  "

Thursday, December 23, 2010

[MLE] 3 minute MLE Advocacy Video on YouTube

 Dear MLE friends,

UNESCO Bangkok has just uploaded a new short MLE advocacy video on YouTube. Check it out at:

Most of you know that there is also an INDIA SPECIFIC short video on YouTube:

Actually in that channel there are 11 more MLE video fragments which you might enjoy:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

[MLE]Mother tongue based pre-school in Orissa; Ullash

Dear MLE friends,

Sometimes you come across good new MLE related initiatives. Here is one: The NGO Ullash is  piloting of a mother tongue based pre-school programme in Orissa. They write on their website (
 The Programme “Successful Transition for Young Tribal Children in Odisha” primarily focuses on the preparation and piloting of a mother tongue based pre-school programme which will enhance children's learning in Anganwadis and pre-schools / other ECE centres and give them a sound foundation for a smooth transition to primary schools. The project is supported by the Bernard Van Leer Foundation and implemented by the state government and NGOs (PREM, CYSD and CLAP) in remote rural and tribal pockets.

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.