[lg policy] Pakistan: Mother Language Day

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Sat Feb 21 15:38:52 UTC 2015

 Mother Language Day

 Saturday, February 21, 2015
>From Print Edition

  15  2  2  0

The International Mother Language Day being celebrated today is observed to
promote linguistic and cultural diversity and encourage people to maintain
knowledge of their mother language. In Pakistan, however, the situation is
quite complicated when it comes to using our mother tongue as the medium of
instruction. In February 2014, the Punjab government reversed its 2009
decision that had directed English to be the medium of instruction in
public schools from grade 1. It now requires public schools to switch to
English as the medium of instruction from grade 3.

The Sindh Education Sector Plan (2013-16) also recommends preparation of a
comprehensive plan to implement the English language policy and to develop
strategies to use English as the medium of instruction for science subjects
from grade 4 onwards. However, it is advisable to use the first language or
the proximate language as the medium of instruction in the first three
grades. Moreover, textbooks should be written keeping in mind the
curriculum standards and developmental needs of learners. Also, English
needs to be taught at the primary level as a subject from grade 1, or
later, depending on the availability of competent teachers and not as the
medium of instruction.

Amina Sarwar, Islamabad

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