[lg policy] Nagaland, India: DoSE to introduce local languages in schools

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu May 11 10:42:29 EDT 2017

DoSE to introduce local languages in schools
Published on 11 May. 2017 12:44 AM IST

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With a view to effectively implement the three-language policy and to
preserve, protect and promote the local Naga languages, the Department of
School Education (DoSE) has decided that every child would be encouraged
and given opportunity to learn his or her mother tongue in the school.
The decision comes following recommendations of the committee constituted
by the state government to examine the present scenario on implementation
of the three-language policy and make recommendations and modalities for
introduction of MILs/local dialects in schools in Nagaland.
In an official notification, the principal secretary, FP Solo, said that
from the academic session of 2018 all the schools, both government and
private, would introduce the local language of the linguistic area where
the school is located upto the primary or elementary level depending upon
the level of the development of the local language starting from Class-I in
schools where the local language has not yet been introduced.
As per the notification, every school would introduce at least one local
language in the school. However, depending on the enrolment, schools are at
liberty to introduce more languages other than the language of the local
linguistic area.
The government has encouraged all the Naga tribes, including the
sub-tribes, to develop text books and introduce their mother tongues upto
the elementary education, i.e. Class-VIII.
However, all the existing text books of local languages being used in
different classes would be reviewed and updated strictly in conformity with
an approved curriculum for Mother Tongue to be developed by SCERT,
Nagaland, which is the Academic Authority of Nagaland upto elementary
To ensure and maintain uniformity and comparable standards, the
notification stated that the SCERT with the assistance of different
language officers would develop a prototype of textbooks in English, which
would then be translated into local languages. Those series of text books
would be titled ‘Naga Heritage Studies’ and used upto Class-VIII.
Introduction of a local language in schools at different levels upto
Class-VIII would be considered only after the SCERT certifies that
textbooks of that particular language have been developed as per the
approved curriculum for Mother Tongue.
Similarly, a local language would be considered for introduction at
secondary level only after the textbooks of that particular language have
been developed as per the MIL framework for secondary level to be certified
by the NBSE.
A State Institute of Naga Languages would be set up under the Directorate
of School Education by re-deployment of the existing officers, language
officers and staff to:
a) Systematically develop all the Naga languages and sub-dialects in
collaboration with Nagaland University and different language
b) Regulate and monitor development of text books for local languages in
collaboration with SCERT and NBSE;
c) Ensure uniformity and prescribe standards/syllabus for issue of
certificate and diploma by different literature Boards/Committees;
d) Take up any activity that may be entrusted to it by the Govt. for
preservation, promotion and development of Naga languages.
Further, the language teachers would be appointed as per the NCTE norms.
Till the proposed State Institute of Naga Languages prescribed the
syllabus, the other literature boards/committees could adopt the curriculum
and syllabus of Ura Academy for conduct of certificate and diploma course
of one year duration each, as a stop gap arrangement.
In government schools where local languages are taught, there would be no
deployment of additional language teachers on account of introduction of
local languages.
The existing teachers could be trained and deployed as language teachers in
addition to their normal duties, till trained language teachers are
appointed after rationalization and re-deployment of teachers in government
schools. Private schools could also adopt similar strategy.
Due to existence of multi languages, different level and less developed
nature of the local languages, English would continue to be the medium of
instructions in all the schools in the state.
However, teachers are encouraged to explain the difficult concepts and
scientific terms in the mother tongues of the children.
With the introduction of local languages from Class-I from the academic
session of 2018, the notification said Alt. English would be abolished in a
phased manner starting from Class-V from 2018, and Class-VI to VIII from
2019 in all the schools in the State.
In urban areas in addition to the local language, Naga Heritage Studies may
be used for non-local students (students who are from outside the
linguistic group of the local area).
Only qualified and trained candidates from nationally recognised
institutions would be considered for appointment as Hindi Teachers after
proper screening and clearing State Hindi Teacher Eligibility Test.
The State government would devise some innovative plan to improve, monitor
and check the proficiency of Hindi teachers and learning outcome of
students in Hindi from time to time. Students would be encouraged to speak
only Hindi during Hindi class and even in the school and outside in lieu of
All stakeholders, including principal director, school education, director,
SCERT, chairman, NBSE, SMD, SSA/RMSA, DEOs, DDEOs, SDEOs, principals,
headmasters and heads of schools have been directed to initiate immediate
necessary action for implementation of the instructions contained in the
notification from 2018.
The notification, which has the approval of the cabinet vide Cabinet Cell
Memo dated April 26, 2017, would come into immediate effect.

Committee findings
I) Contrary to national three-language policy, English, in lieu of mother
tongue, is being used as the medium of instructions in almost all the
schools in Nagaland;
II) Though Hindi as national language is taught as a compulsory subject
upto class-VIII, the level of proficiency of Naga students in reading,
writing and speaking in Hindi is low.
III) 90% of Naga students opt for Alt. English as many schools especially
private schools have not introduced mother tongues even in places where
local languages have been developed and introduced to higher levels of
IV) At present only 4 Naga dialects, i.e Ao, Lotha, Sumi & Tenyidie are
being taught beyond Class-VIII;
V) There is no uniformity and comparable standards of text books of
different Naga dialects;
VI) Some literature committees/boards have developed manuscripts and
introduced their languages in higher classes. But many of them were found
to have been developed without any approved curriculum and syllabus;
VII) Though Naga languages are in the list of endangered languages, many
Naga children, according to a survey conducted by SCERT, are unable to
speak their mother tongue and communicate with each other in Nagamese or
English even at home; and
VIII) Children can understand better if taught in mother tongues. But due
to less developed nature of the local dialects teaching-learning cannot be
transacted through mother tongues.


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