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Mother Tongue Language

28th Jun 2019
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INTRODUCTION:

When I asked my 11 year old son “Why do you go to school?” , he answered “For Studies, Playtime and Friends“ I continued asking, “Which is the most important in these ?”  His answer surprised me, as he said, “ All three” .

Let us see a world wide view on education , For Example  Countries like US, Sweden, Germany, UK, Japan - have better and successful educational system than ours. In education and literacy   we are years away from them, though we are  3rd  largest GDP (according to PPP) nation in the world. Is this wide gap acceptable?  Are we good in our Education system from LKGs to Phds?

We are a young nation, But so confused with our education system, and so diversified, which we can term as a “failed system of education”  catering to only the few.  Our Education system presently in India is

·      Not homogenous,

·      Not widespread among all our population,

·      Not of ours, ( not of our soil )

But, we have international schools, with Baccalaureate, CISCE schools,  Air-conditioned  class rooms, smart classes teaching European languages …. But all these do not cater to the education of masses and may help only a very small percentage of population.

This essay is a plan which have to be developed with think tanks, and incorporated with firm hands. 

SUMMARY:

  • ·      In Indian education Mother tongue / Language of Home, is neglected.
  • ·      India has effectively adopted a system of education, emphasizing  foreign language medium.
  • ·      Our Progression in Education system, Innovations, Specializations are hampered due to trying to nurture a different language.
  • ·      Communicative Languages have been pathetically misdirected for understanding Subjects.
  • ·      A new separate Ministerial Department dedicated to  Awareness, Translations, Jobs and Career   Should be timely planned with full effect immediately.

WHY a Mother tongue / Home Language :

·      Let us define what a mother tongue is ?.. “ What is spoken at home, / the Language mother talks to the baby… “etc. 

{ In India Mother tongue can also be a regional language, which is the language spoken in a particular state, region etc. This is not the case always, as Language spoken at Home may be different from the regional language. So for discussion purpose this term Regional Language can not be used, And we will maintain the term “Mother Tongue” or “ Home Language” }


·      First, learning does not begin in school. Learning starts at home in the learners’ home language which is Mother Tongue and is the Primary Language / Native Language

o  UNESCO has encouraged mother tongue instruction in primary education since 1953 (UNESCO, 1953) and UNESCO highlights the advantages of mother tongue education right from the start.

o  At the start of school at kindergarten it is a continuation of this home learning (Hovens, 2002; UNESCO Bangkok, 2005);

o  Children are more likely to enroll and succeed in school who are in mother tongue medium, compared to non mother tongue medium schools. (Kosonen, 2005).

o  Parents are more likely to communicate with teachers and participate in their children’s learning, best in Mother tongue or Primary Language. (Benson, 2002).

o  Research has shown that children’s first language throughout primary school is the optimal language for literacy and learning (UNESCO, 2008a).

·      After the learning of almost all basics, theories , grammar, laws , equations, in mother tongue, Child has now well understood the concepts, principles and has imbibed the subjects.

·      Research provides convincing evidence that a second language is learned best when a first Primary language / Mother tongue  has been learnt well fluently.

·      Strong grip of Mother tongue in which a child thinks, dreams is a must. After the child grows up, this strong grip on his native Home language, imbibes him to be more innovative, experimental and inventive. Research on the success of mother tongue over alien languages had been done and proved so.

·      All developed nations such as England, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, France have their medium of subjects in their respective mother tongue, and not in a alien / international language. Fortunately for some of these countries, the mother tongue or the Primary Language is the National Language also, unlike Indian Subcontinent.

·      In India somehow, the Home language got pushed down and out due to external and Internal forces replacing them with less effective foreign language


AT Present in India


A few centuries ago, we were not like this…. Mother tongue was the primary language in each region, in which the child learnt. But now it is not so. How did we end up like this?

·      We have Hindi and English mixed up with this basic mother tongue right from the start of school education. 

·      The Internal Forces are

o  Parental misdirection. Which goes like , “. Do not rely on our language, there is no value there. One’s future well-being is dependent upon mastering the language of the foreign people.

o  Appreciation from society if a language not of locality is spoken.

o  Acceptance from fellow beings of falsely being superior,

o  Desire of the self to be associated with foreign culture. This is VANITY

·      The External Forces are

o  Provisions from Local Governments through privatizations, promoting the foreign language instead of regional language

o  Centralised Examinations  not handled in Home languages,

o  Educations not being offered in Home language in Best schools.

o  Private Schools aspiring and propagating that Foreign medium of education is best.


·      In majority, Our Country’s schools teach in the old colonial language, or in a dominant national language, which young children do not speak at home. Very convincingly we have created a infamous dogma of putting the children in costly private schools, with unknown language medium, and forcing them with foreign pronunciations and accents. At early age, Children DO NOT learn the What, How and Whys in their most understandable language, their mother tongue, but in a different language.

·      Instead, right from Kindergarten A child learns a foreign language which is not spoken at home, and all the objects names are learnt through that. This creates dilution of children’s approbation of what is around them, and creates two or three names for a simple object, which is not needed.

·      TO equate More time is spent on books, Homework, Studies and less time to play and activities, which in turn negates the overall growth of a child.

·      Also this creates in children, lesser understanding capability and when they grow up, gives less innovation less creativity, lesser specialization, and more competition.

·      We have for decades unknowingly cultured a communicative language instead of Mother tongue, to be taught to the child, even from infancy.


Is this Mother Tongue Language needed ?


Learning, Understanding, Knowledge, Fluency and Expression in Mother tongue, is not a need but a must. Yes IT is the Need of the hour and with the present Governmental setup , Which is pivotal for many Radical changes, This should be accomplished.

·      Home Language is first.

·      This is Followed by the learning of National Language for purpose of communication to deliver what had been learnt through mother tongue ( regional Language ) to a fellow Indian from across state.

·      Which is followed by an International language like English, used for communicating to person across the globe


·      From the above , it is noted that National Language like Hindi and International Languages like English are Just Communicative Languages, which are used to communicate what is inside oneself ( which had been gathered through his / her mother tongue ) to the other person,

·      But as of now for the past 100 years the medium of education had been, all English , which is left over by the colonial rule, and that same medium is conceived as a studying, understanding and communicative language.

·      Unfortunately this learning  of all our basics and higher degrees, through a foreign language had been our great downfall. No other country had nurtured education through a foreign language as much as India has.

·      There is nothing like English medium school or Hindi Medium school. This is a false ideology left over by our predecessors, (If only a few of these bygone years had been used for translating the whole educative material now all would be native. This did not happen till date. ) It is high time Government acts with a Firm Law, that there will be basically Mother tongue ( Home ) Medium Schools only.

·      If this vanity of desire to be associated with a different language other than Mother tongue is allowed,

o  IT will create un attachment / alienation to the home land / home town etc

o  It cannot cater to the needs of the locality without sufficient knowledge of local words

o  Desire to be leaving hometowns to settle in cities, for reason to avoid local language and to be associated to a foreign language.

o  We see a   nation which was progressive in past had stooped low to accept inventions and culture from outside world just because of invalidity of primary Home Language which is mother tongue.

So in order for our nation to progress, basic change in this language system is imminent.


Suggestive ways it can be corrected :


AWARENESS

·      Parents, Teachers, Students, all need to understand the importance of learning and understanding Subjects / Science in Mother Tongue and the need for National and International language for communications. They all need to know the difference between the two.

·      Government and schools have to highlight the difference and educate our society. Orientation programmes should be conducted at all levels village, Thaluk,  Districts… in All schools and Colleges. It should be an awareness drive.

·      Banners, TV advertisements, Pre Movie ads, Mobile information all can be done to educate the differences in our language medium and create sufficient climate for the coming change.


TRANSLATION

·      In modern world, we have speech software, Scanning, and digital Translation, all of which are possible

·      Most of our curriculum / Syllabi left over by British rule is in English, Not much translation had been done in last 65 years, in field of medicine, Engineering, Law, Advanced science,  Majorly it need to be translated to most common languages and to National language.

o  Translating the terms, definitions, laws, equations, hypotheses, all are difficult.

o  A district panel for subject wise, To correct, To modify, can be started in each College /University in a district, and all can be pooled in through digital communication and a final panel in head quarters approves each class’s subject language translation. These panels can be Honarary or funded by Govt.

·      Now all our 30 regional languages and 300 dialects cannot have a translations, and if so, there will be lots of confusion in terms and ideas. First let us start with year 2020, of just converting the major 14 languages (21st Amendment - 1967 ) and making them totally in mother tongue starting from Kindergarten.


·      Linguistic departments of all colleges and all universities if they take up this for 1 year, they will finish converting the entire syllabi… of all school subjects of all classes of respective languages, with cooperation of digital software.


HOME SCHOOLS

·      Now Each City / Town  can  have a few ”Other Mother tongue HOME schools” to cater to the need of the mother tongues of parents who has moved in to work… ( Eg, Bangalore will have Tamil schools, and Malayalam school, Gujarathi schools if the respective student numbers are fairly good. OR any one “Other language schools” can be combined under one roof to avoid repetition and lack of infrastructure. )

·      Next to Schools The Colleges and Universities cater in the same format, of promoting Mother tongue language curriculum, (within a period of 6 years Change can be achieved.)

o  Examples – Introduction of Keyboards in Banks a few years ago…       

o  Introduction of Computers in train bookings…. Etc.                                 


SEPERATE MINISTRY

·      ALL this can be only achieved when Law can be enforced freely and a new Ministry of Human Career Resources is formed whose goal is

o  To see to that every citizen is given early in his age basic preparation, direction, guidance, and achievability for a future career at his later age.

o  See all institutions, Educational  / training / coaching etc cater to this need within the stipulated format,

o  To see that a career / profession / Job  is well protected through stronger associations / licenses / homogenization / distribution of professionals and lessening of competition.

o  Article 345, 346 need to be amended considering to suite the future of our country

o  Next Level of Research / Funding also can be brought under this Ministry.


SUGGESTIVE PLAN   

  If we start this in 2021, we will be partially transformed into native language education in 2024 and In 2027 we will be fully transformed.


o  Preliminary Stage :

§ Continue Std 10th , 11th , 12th , in same medium as he studied but start learning home language terms, concepts through extra classes.

§ These group when attempting competitive exams are given Grace Marks and the Exams are to be Bilingual.

§ Career selection to students is given as a priority  through counseling and previous averages and which they prefer ( for Std 12 only )

§ Home Language medium for entry into Graduate classes, and Graduate students in another medium are to take Extra classes in Home language to study the terms in their particular field.


o  Partial Stage  :

§ Begin 4th , 5th , 6th , Std in Home Language Medium with teaching of translated terms in Home Language.

§ Begin  7th, 8th , 9th classes to in Home Language Medium fully for subjects , with teaching of translated terms in Home Language. Extra classes are optional. Introduce other languages as second and third according to the need for communications.

§ In future when they take competitive exams they take it in home Language only. ( can be given Grace marks too )

 ( Glossary of all terms translated can be given as an attached booklet with each book  )

o  Complete Stage  :

§ Start Std 1st to 3rd  in Home language only. Education   through Age 5 -  8 begins in Mother tongue only, and continues hence with.

This is what we can foresee After 3 years :

·      Mother Tongue is the medium of Education  in India

·      Education from Age 5 to 11  of all Subject in Home Language ( Mother Tongue ) only. ( no other Language is encouraged.

·      Communicative languages are introduced only at Age 12 with the option of Second / third  Languages.

·      Deviation of subjects, From Age 16,   starts in Home Language only, according to students needs / desire  in arts, Science, Commerce, Technical, hospitality and Law  , 

·      Specialization starts at 18 , and continues to next level ( Graduation ) also in Home Language,  With developing fluency in languages of communication.


·      In 2026, we will have our generation educated fully in Native  language, getting into colleges.

·      So we have 6  years to convert our school mediums, 3 years to prepare our graduate education  and super specialized education ( Masters degree ) into Primary Language allover India  completely. Then from then on we can be a nation with an Indianite Education.




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