NEP and scope of mother tongue

The role of mother tongue in shaping the future of a nation has always been very crucial
Representational Image
Representational Image [Creative Commons]

The NEP-2020 envisions an education system rooted in our ethos that contributes directly to transferring Bharat, sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society.

The role of mother tongue in shaping the future of nations has always been very crucial. Given the importance and efficacy of mother tongue, the United Nations declared Mother Language Day celebration on, Feb. 21st of every year.

The policy makers have adequately emphasized the usage of mother tongue as a medium of instruction at the elementary level.

The new education policy has changed the concept of rote learning where in a student was exposed to a language other than his/her mother tongue or home language, thus promoting memorization more than anything else.

This indeed helps in passing the examinations even with good marks, but the worrying thing is that the student has no clear understanding of the facts or events.

Education pattern based on this kind of pedagogy could not yield desired results. Had such teaching learning approach worked then, how come a large proportion of students currently in the elementary stage estimated more than 5 crore in India are not able to read or write or comprehend the basics text.

The very fact has sought the attention of policy makers and in formulating the NEP-2020 , the policy attaches highest priority to attaining the foundational literacy and numeracy for all children and shall become a national mission.

It is a fact that students understand even the complex things easily in their mother tongue in shortest possible time. The confidence level in such students is always higher and are able to prepare , present and communicate more easily.

In all those states and regions, where medium of instruction is local language, the national indicators on different parameters display better results.

It is rightly said that when a person speaks in his mother tongue, he expresses the feelings of his heart and speaking other than the mother tongue is a reflection of mind.

The very concepts become more clear and pronounced in mother language. Kashmiri is now the official language and we feel proud of our rich cultural heritage and ethos and the beauty of this language lies in its rich content and vocabulary.

The education system has many challenges to face in introducing new education policy. Among them introducing mother tongue as a medium of instruction is a significant challenge.

Preparing text books and course materials for primary classes in Kashmiri to achieve the desired targets as envisaged in NEP-2020 is the primary task of the Text Book Division of BOSE.

But the fact of the matter is that no advances have been made on this account despite policy provisions and persistent demand from parents. Pertinently, this is the domain of BOSE and SCERT and they need to fulfill their obligation in making available the books as the NEP-2020 is heading towards implementation.

The new education policy has a well thought out idea of introducing mother tongue at least in early years of schooling.

The SED must take all the necessary steps like language teacher recruitment, teacher training, module preparation and infrastructure development.

The SCERT has now a significant role to play be it teacher trainings, curriculum development, module preparation and guidelines for periodic assessment tests.

The SCERT has the responsibility of setting the academic targets and pursue actively in achieving those goals in realization of academic excellence. The education system must gear up to ensure proper implementation at ground level.

Education has to play a pivotal role for preparing the young generation to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

The teacher fraternity shall accept the challenge of teaching the students in a language, where he /she can learn and understand more easily and may enjoy reading rather than feeling burdened.

The play way method of teaching is more viable at early stages and may help in checking students escaping tendencies thus minimizing the drop out ratio.

The education of today is child centric and not teacher centric. A teacher has to come down to the level of his student to make him/her feel free and become a model by self transformation.

The mother language has an influence as it is culturally acceptable and socially adorable. It has a deep impact on the growth, development and identity of a nation.

Mir Mohammad Gulzar, former Principal(SED)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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