[lg policy] India: Draft national education policy rekindles debate on mother tongue

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue Aug 2 11:48:49 EDT 2016


Draft national education policy rekindles debate on mother tongue
·   T
<http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/draft-national-education-policy-rekindles-debate-on-mother-tongue/article8930355.ece>
T
<http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/draft-national-education-policy-rekindles-debate-on-mother-tongue/article8930355.ece>


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<http://pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/draft-national-education-policy-rekindles-debate-on-mother-tongue/article8930355.ece&media=http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/02955/07bg_bgtki_lang_02_2955577g.jpg&description=Draft%20national%20education%20policy%20rekindles%20debate%20on%20mother%20tongue>
[image: New policy:The draft states that if States opt the medium of
instruction to be the mother tongue, then there is a need to ensure that
the second language is English.— file photo]
New policy:The draft states that if States opt the medium of instruction to
be the mother tongue, then there is a need to ensure that the second
language is English.— file photo
Draft policy’s stand on issue comes as good news for State government

Resurrecting the debate on the medium of instruction, the draft National
Education Policy (NEP) has stated that it could be in the child’s mother
tongue, local or regional language, if the States “desire” so.

The issue has been debated in Karnataka and seen long-drawn-out court
battles. In fact, the draft policy’s stand on the issue comes as good news
for the State government, which in May 2014 lost a nearly two-decade-old
legal battle related to the State’s language policy of 1994.

Despite losing the battle in court, the government had also passed an
amendment to the RTE Act in April 2015 in order to make mother tongue the
medium of instruction in primary classes.

*Important role*

The document titled ‘Some Inputs for Draft National Education Policy 2016’,
circulated to States, says: “All States and UTs, if they so desire, may
provide education in schools, up to Class V, in mother tongue, local or
regional language as the medium of instruction.”

While acknowledging that English plays an important role and that it is
necessary to make children proficient in reading and writing in the
language, the draft states that if States opt to have the medium of
instruction in the mother tongue, then there is a need to ensure that the
second language is English.

While the State government is happy with these developments, private school
managements don’t feel so. D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary of the
Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said
the matter was already settled as the apex court had given its verdict.
“Both, the State and Union governments are using this for political
vendetta and are not willing to listen to the aspirations of parents,” he
said.

Ironically, the State government too had softened its stand on the medium
of instruction, and had said that the final choice should be with the
parents rather than the government. But, it had maintained that the medium
of instruction should be the mother tongue in government and aided schools
at lower primary levels.

However, during consultations, the former Minister of State for Primary and
Secondary Education, Kimmane Ratnakar, had batted for mother tongue as
medium of instruction during the NEP discussions.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/draft-national-education-policy-rekindles-debate-on-mother-tongue/article8930355.ece


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