[lg policy] Draft education policy calls for pragmatic features with emphasis on both mother tongue and other languages: VP

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Tue Jun 11 11:10:55 EDT 2019


Draft education policy calls for pragmatic features with emphasis on both
mother tongue and other languages: VPPointing out that the draft policy
also looks at the need to aim for excellence and equity, Vice President
said it strikes a balance between the national needs and ethos and the need
to prepare students in India to be among the best in the global context.
New Delhi, PTI <https://www.newsnation.in/byline/pti> | Updated : 10 June
2019, 07:34 AM
[image: Draft education policy calls for pragmatic language policy: VP]
Draft education policy calls for pragmatic language policy: VP

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said the draft National Education
Policy calls for a"pragmatic" language policy in which the mother tongue is
given its due importance, as also the proficiency in other languages,
required to advance in a multilingual world.

He also noted that it was time to "re-think, re-imagine and re-invent" the
entire education system.

"We in India are now embarking on a major reform process.You would have
read about the draft National Education policythat has been released for
public debate a few days ago.  It is a document that covers a whole range
of issues in great detail. It seeks to lay out a path for making quality
education accessible to all children and youth," Naidu said.

Pointing out that the draft policy also looks at the need to aim for
excellence and equity, he said it strikes a balance between the national
needs and ethos and the need to prepare students in India to be among the
best in the global context.

"It calls for a pragmatic language policy in which the  mother tongue is
given its due importance and so also isproficiency in other languages
required to advance in a multilingual world," he added.

The Vice President was speaking at the inauguration of the golden jubilee
celebrations of Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.

Amid the controversy over the recommendation of an HRD Ministry panel to
teach Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states, arevised draft education policy
was issued recently that didnot mention the language being made
compulsory.

Several south Indian states had strongly opposed the three language formula
in the draft policy and alleged it wastantamount to thrusting the Hindi
language on them.

Naidu pointed out that India today was a young nation with more than 50 per
cent of its population aged below 25years and more than 65 per cent below
age of 35, which was ahuge untapped demographic dividend, to realize
whichinvestment has to be made in education.

"We must ensure our education system is revamped to equip our young
children and youth with the knowledge, skills andattitudes required for the
21st century.

The foundations of this structure must be strengthened,"a copy of Naidu's
speech shared with the media quoted him assaying.     Noting that India's
literacy rate was 74.04 per cent andthe youth literacy rate, measured
within the age group of 15to 24, was 81.1 per cent, Naidu said it has to
ensured that inthe next few years, the country has a population that can
readand write, compute, articulate and participate with
greaterself-confidence in the developmental processes.

The Vice President said the school system must be morechild friendly,
geared towards a holistic development of eachchild's innate faculties and
added that the higher educationsystem needs to be re-engineered to bring in
greater emphasison excellence in research and teaching.

Naidu pointed out that the draft education policy has anumber of
recommendations that will potentially advance theeducation agenda of the
country and help India move towards ahigher growth trajectory.

These suggestions of the expert panel have to be studiedby all stakeholders
in the country and there must be an activeengagement with key issues raised
in the draft policy,he said.

"As our economy becomes more robust and resilient, as we keep reforming
each of our governance structures and trying totransform the lives of our
citizens, as we gain greaterstature in the comity of nations, the education
system, the catalytic development accelerator, should be further
activatedand given utmost attention.

"We have to shape the future. The onus of moulding thefuture is upon us
collectively and we must not fail. It is time that we re-think, re-imagine
and re-invent our entire education system," he added

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 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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