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Weekly Pullouts » Himachal Tribune

Posted at: Jul 7, 2018, 12:12 AM; last updated: Jul 7, 2018, 12:12 AM (IST)SCHOOL TOPPER

Children should have proper facilities to study in mother tongue

Every child is empowered to access the right to education, but it is imperative that in addition to going to school, the children actually learn. If a child cannot speak or understand the language used in the classroom, the efficacy and quality of learning will suffer.
Children should have proper facilities to study in mother tongue
Saakshi Sharma 95.4% Class X, CBSE Dayanand Public School, Shimla.
Consequent upon the enactment of the Right to Education Act, 2002, various studies have pointed out that although there has been an increase in the attendance of students in schools, but the quality of education and the standard of learning are still major causes of concern.  Many reasons have been attributed for this, one of which is non- availability of proper facilities to children to study in their mother tongue. 

Every child is empowered to access the right to education, but it is imperative that in addition to going to school, the children actually learn. If a child cannot speak or understand the language used in the classroom, the efficacy and quality of learning will suffer. 

A large number of children, particularly those in primary classes and especially from minority-language, and ethnic communities who do not have access to education in a language they know are facing this situation and, as a result, the literacy rate among ethnic and linguistic minorities is low. Many failed examinations because they could not read and understand instructions. Reading skills are poor, even among secondary school children. 

Students failed to read and grasp information due to lack of reading skills and poor writing skills.

Given that issues related to the poor quality of education in many states in India can be directly linked to a lack of mother-tongue learning, improving the quality of education and learning outcomes need more flexible approaches to incorporating mother tongue in the classroom. It is essential that teachers’ capacity is built to deal with this, appropriate teaching methods are created and an interactive classroom environment is fostered, all of which will support the acquisition of literacy and learning in the mother tongue. Where instructions, curriculum and materials are not in mother tongue and do not take account of the known word, the result is widespread non-attendance, increased repetition and low-achievement levels. 

The failure to provide mother-tongue teaching is a form of discrimination that perpetuates inequalities. Children from poorer rural areas or from ethnic and linguistic minorities are less likely to receive quality education and more likely to become non-literate adults. 

With a view to encourage learning in mother tongue, the government should show a strong political will to introduce mother-tongue learning along with introducing language policies, which may ensure that early education is carried out in the mother tongue and the second language is gradually and carefully introduced at the later stages. 

Efforts should be made to support the development of low-cost mother-tongue learning material with flexibility to introduce local knowledge and local skills. Besides this, local teachers and community engaged in developing material based on local knowledge and practice should also be encouraged.

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