[MLE] ASER education report 2011 for the first time includes language data

Dear Multilingual Education friends, ASER does each year an independent assessment of the status of primary education in the country. ASER 2011 reached 558 districts, 16,017 villages, 327,372 households and 633,465 children. This year I somehow missed reporting on it in January. Here is a key finding you might find interesting: Nationally, reading levels are estimated to have declined in many states across North India. The All India figure for the proportion of children in Std V able to read a Std 2 level text has dropped from 53.7% in 2010 to 48.2% in 2011. Such declines are not visible in the southern states. However for this mailing list the most interesting thing is that this year for the first time the survey included a question on language :. The

[MLE] Report on the MLE bridging workshop at Bangkok

Dear MLE friends, Out of the 80 participants from 20 countries 4 people from India attended the Workshop on Bridging Between Languages in Mother Tongue-Based Bilingual/Multilingual Education in Bangkok last month. The India participants were from Guwahati University (Dr Anita Tamuli & Prafulla Basumatari), Promotion & Advocacy for Justice, Harmony & Rights for Adivasis , PAJHRA (Luke Horo) and Center for Tribal Culture and Art Society (Ft Mahipal Bhuriya).

[MLE] NCERT Evaluation Report on MLE Project Orissa

Dear Multilingual Education Friends, The evaluation report by NCERT's Department of Elementary Education on the Orissa MultiLingual Education projects under SSA/OPEPA is now available on-line at the TCF-SSA website *. These are some highlights from the summary: Overall, results suggested that children in MLE schools (treatment group) received significantly higher achievement scores than children in non-MLE schools (comparison group). However, scores for several Tribal languages showed that students of non-MLE schools did as well or even slightly better than students of MLE

[MLE] Article "Linguistic imperialism alive and kicking"

Dear Multilingual Education friends, The British Council, as well as some US agencies,  are active in south Asia and other places promoting the use of the English language in the classroom. A recent article by Robert Phillipson in The Guardian titled "Linguistic imperialism alive and kicking"   is criticising this as "undermining multilingualism and education opportunities". Some quotes: The myth is the belief that studying English is all you need for success in life. Policies influenced by this myth prevent most children from accessing relevant education. Is Anglo-American expertise really relevant in all such contexts? In fact educational "aid" worldwide does not have a strong record of success. There is scholarly evidence, for instance from Spain, that primary English is not an unmitigated success story: quite the opposite. Governments have tended to clutch at a

[MLE] A critical report on the RTE progress

Dear MLE friends, In April it will be two years since the the Right to Education (RTE) Act was introduced. Forward Press Magazine published a critical article on the progress made thus far:  A Fundamental Wrong: Education for too Few . The author, Suzana Andrade, makes an interesting comparison with Finland were they also implemented a major education transform several years back: "In 1971, Finland's government realised that the only way to modernise its economy and compete in an increased competitive world was to transform its basic education. According to a recent article in The Atlantic magazine, the secret to Finland's success is that the goal they pursued was not excellence, but equity". On India: "Today, though the policies and rhetoric have changed, the underlying worldview remains: our society continues to prioritise a few and exclude the rest".

[MLE] A thorough paper on the MLE program in Orissa/Odisha

Dear MLE friends, I don't think I have ever come across such an extensive analyses of the MLE programme in Orissa as the one from Dr Urmishree Bedamatta presented at the 2nd Philippine Conference Workshop on Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education   held February 16-18, 2012 titled: The politics of mother tongue based multilingual education: A case study on MLE for Juanga children in an eastern state of India The author does base her analyses on field visits, interviews and a wide range of literature study. Her analyses is critical. The abstract states: The analysis of the MLE programme with reference to classroom transaction, the teacher and the teaching learning materials led to the following conclusions: (a) the use of the mother tongue is a strategy to improve statistics on access with little concern for retention, (b) the use of the mother tongue does not guarantee

[MLE] Article on the value of language from the new UNESCO India director

Dear multilingual education friends, Last week I had the privilege to meet the new UNESCO director for this region at their Delhi office: Mr Shigeru Aoyagi . Only now I discovered he had just that week written an article on the issue of language: Languages are vehicles of understanding, tolerance . In that article he e.g. wrote: Mother languages, along with linguistic diversity, matter for the identity of individuals. As sources of creativity and vehicles for cultural expression, they are also important for the health of societies. Studies and researches show that use of mother language at initial stage of education would enhance children’s comprehension skills. We know how important education in the mother language is for learning outcomes. Mother language instruction is also a powerful way to fight discrimination