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)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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

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 to address the issues, the School and Mass Education Department has directed that all functions of elementary education will be transferred in phases to zilla parishad and other panchayati raj institutions. Since MLE is part of the elementary education, it too would follow suit.
Interestingly on the OPEPA Siksha Sahayaks recruitments page Urdu, Bengali and Telegu are mentioned as specific required languages, but nothing is said about speaking tribal languages.

Monday, August 12, 2013

[MLE] India speaks...780 ways

Dear multilingual education friends,

Yesterday I read in the Indian Express India speaks...780 ways about the completion of the People's Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI). They found 780 languages spoken in India. A quote:
After what can easily be called the largest-ever survey of languages in the world, spread over four years, involving around 85 institutions, roping in as many linguists, sociologists, anthropologists and cultural activists, and tapping over 3,000 volunteers, the centre has compiled its findings. In the year 2013, shows the 'People's Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI)', there are 780 languages spoken across the length and breadth of the country. In contrast, the 2001 Census listed just 122 languages

Saturday, July 6, 2013

[MLE] 10th Issue of Multilingual Education E-Newsletter

Dear MultiLingual Education friends,

UNESCO Bangkok just published the 10th Issue of Multilingual Education E-Newsletter. It has MLE related news-items from all over Asia , a list of resources related to education  and a overview of relevant events. The most interesting event is probably the 4th International Conference on Language and Education: Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific - Policies, Practices and Processes, Thailand; 6-8 November 2013. There is also a link to the MLE Mapping Data as maintained by the Asia Multilingual Education Working Group with a request to contribute to it.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

[MLE] Videos from the 3rd International English Language Teacher Educator Conference

Dear multilingual education friends,

The British Council is pleased to share the link of the videos from the 3rd International English Language Teacher Educator Conference (TEC) held in Hyderabad from 16 - 18 March 2013. The videos have been uploaded on YouTube and you can view them at this link.

There are some interesting presentations such as

  • Evaluation Study of MLE of Odisha” by Lata Pandey from NCERT,
  • “Grounding ELT in an MLE Framework” by Ajit Mohanty from JNU
  • “Importance of Mother Tongue Education for Quality Education” by Pamela Mackenzie from INfD
Enjoy watching them and others. From some of the speakers there are presentation available also.

Monday, June 17, 2013

[MLE] UNICEF Dictionaries in 9 languages in Jharkhand

Dear multilingual Education friends,

Earlier this month we read about the results of the Sociolinguistic Research that UNICEF facilitated in Jharkhand. Alongside this also dictionaries were developed in the following languages: Santhali, Mundari, Ho, PanchPargania, Nagpuri, Khortha, Kharia, Kurukh and Kurmali. The dictionaries were developed via Mother Tongue Based Active Language Learning (M-TALL) along with Tribal Welfare Research Institute. The Times of India Reports on it here. A quote:
Speaking on the occasion Mridula Sinha, principal secretary, Department of Social Welfare, Women & Child Development said: "I strongly believe that children's language skills need to be strengthened and it is our priority and for achieving this goal these dictionaries are launched which will be available at all anganwadi centres and schools to impart education to children. In this respect, we have named anganwadi centers Anganwadi Nursery School Kendra to promote basic learning and to control the drop out rates in the schools."

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

[MLE] Bihar: teachers are told to use local words in school

Dear Multilingual Education friends,

The Bihar government claims to be the first state to start a language bridge course. Beginning mid-July, teachers in  government primary schools in Bihar will teach class one students Hindi equivalents for words in Bajjika, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Angika and Magahi. To support the implementation dictionaries in these languages are produced also. A quote from the article in The Indian Express:
HRD Principal Secretary Amarjeet Sinha said, "As government schools have mostly students from villages, it's important to provide them a comfort level. They hardly speak Hindi. Teachers, with the aid of the dictionary, will help children pick up Hindi words. The dialect to Hindi dictionary will be primarily for teachers but can be referred to students as well. The idea is to minimise number of out-of-school children.