Union Minister for Education has informed the Lok Sabha about Education in Mother Tongue.
Section 29(f) of Chapter V under Right to Education Act, 2009 clearly states that, “medium of instructions shall, as far as practicable, be in child’s mother tongue.”
Education is in the concurrentlist of the Constitution and majority of the schools are under the domain of the States/UTs.
As envisaged in para 4.11 of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, is to be the mother tongue/regional language.
The NIPUN Bharat Mission of the Government of India through its Mission Implementation Guidelines suggests that teaching learning process and development of teaching learning material should be done in mother tongue.
Similarly, Vidya Pravesh– a three-month play-based school preparation programme for Grade-I and NISHTHA FLN (Foundational literacy and Numeracy) have also re-emphasised the same.
As per Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2020-21, there are 28 languages in which teaching learning is going on in grades (1-5). The languages are as follows — Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, English, Bodo, Khasi, Garo, Mizo, French, Hmar, Karbi, Santhali, Bhodi, Purgi.
Effectiveness of mother tongue –
Mother tongue is the very first language that one hears, understands and gets familiar with. Thus, it plays important role in shaping feelings, emotions and thought processes.
Use of mother language helps one in getting comfortable with his/her cultural identity.
Maintaining mother languages is necessary for preserving cultural heritage and identity.
Dissemination of mother languages encourages linguistic diversity, thus inspires solidarity based on understanding, tolerance, and dialogue.
Impediments to implement mother tongue in early learning –
Limited learning environment — Learning materials refer to items that aid in the learning process. Books may be a necessary material, but books are not enough by themselves.
Language transfer designates the interference of the mother tongue in second language learning.
One of the barriers in mother language learning is most of the students; do not get better language experience from their primary classroom.
Obstacles arise when there is lack of understanding between a context where a learner lives and the difficulty of a language task given to the students.
Untrained teachers — Most of the teachers do not know about how to introduce a curriculum in native language to the student according to their interest.
Lack of interest and motivation are the most important obstacles in learning in mother tongue.
Scope — The heavy dominance of English in higher education leaves limited scope for native language early education.