Category Archives: Multi-lingual education

“Language is a major issue. The tribal child in Bastar has to simultaneously contend with at least three languages: (a) his mother tongue that could be Gondi or Bhatri or Dorli or Dhurvi or Telga or Halbi (b) Halbi, which is the lingua franca in Bastar and (c) Hindi, the official medium of instruction. Add to this English, which is taught from Standard I.” – Uma Ram (Professor & Head Department of English, Kakatiya PG College, Chhattisgarh) in “Issues in Tribal Education in Bastar, Chhattisgarh” (Folklore Foundation, Lokaratna, Volume IV 2011)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=14683

“Medium of instruction shall, as far as practicable, be in child’s mother tongue.” – The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 quoted in “Primary Education of Tribal Children” by Press Information Bureau, Government of India (Ministry of Tribal Affairs, 9 December 2019)
https://pib.gov.in/Pressreleaseshare.aspx?PRID=1595502
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=16476

“The educational difficulties faced by tribals have been addressed through bilingual or multilingual programmes that start with education in the child’s mother tongue, then transit to the regional or state language, and finally progress to the study of English. This three-language formula, however, remains in an experimental stage, and its practice is limited to isolated pilot projects. […] There are 418 different tribes in India, with even more languages and dialects. Each group is also associated with a specific region through language, food habits, occupational characteristics and geography. To accommodate these diverse and culturally distinct communities with a single educational policy is a mammoth task, verging on the impossible.” –  Boro Baski in “Teaching Santal children” (D+C Development and Cooperation, 2 July 2009)
https://www.dandc.eu/en/article/long-term-success-non-formal-adivasi-school-west-bengal
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=2274

“To be taught in a language other than one’s own has a negative effect on learning. [Starting a child’s education in the mother tongue] allows teachers and students to interact naturally and negotiate meanings together, creating participatory learning environments that are conducive to cognitive as well as linguistic development.”- UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report 2016 quoted “Why is India obsessed with English-medium education – when it goes against scientific consensus?” by Shoaib Daniyal (Scroll.in 6 August 2020
https://scroll.in/article/969356/why-is-india-obsessed-with-english-medium-education-when-it-goes-against-scientific-consensus
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=7707

“There is no script in most Adivasi languages, they are phonetically driven. In 2018, a dictionary in Gondi was released by Kannada University in Hampi. There is a need to preserve these languages and to ensure that children who have grown up speaking such languages don’t feel left out at schools […] In schools, teachers often have a hard time connecting with students because of the language divide [and] children just kept repeating […] without understanding a word.” – Dada Jokal, author of several books in Gondi and who now teaches school teachers the language in “Chhattisgarh: Tribal languages to be a medium of education in pre-school” (Indian Express, 17 February 2020)
https://indianexpress.com/article/governance/chhattisgarh-education-reforms-tribal-languages-to-be-a-medium-of-education-in-pre-school-6271547/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22893

“If you map the parts of India where illiteracy is highest, you will find that it matches the parts where the mother tongues of children are different from the official language.” – Ganesh [G.N.] Devy (linguist, Unesco Linguapax laureate and founder of the Vadodara-based Bhasha Research and Publication Trust) in: “How Tribal Kids in MP Are Getting a Chance to Learn in Their Languages” (thebetterindia.com, 2 August 2017)
https://www.thebetterindia.com/110025/books-tribal-languages-help-rejuvenate-school-learning-central-india/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22755

“[T]he poorer and backward sections of [Gadchiroli district’s Madia Gondi] society tend to think that the state language is a tool to move upward in class and caste hierarchy, that the local, indigenous language is inferior and imitating the upper classes will elevate them in the societal hierarchy. To break this myth, Lok Biradari Ashram School plans to change the language of instruction for kindergarten students from Marathi to Madia.” – Samiksha Godse-Amte in “Nurturing one’s own tongue” (The Hindu, 3 April 2013)
https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-newdelhi/nurturing-ones-own-tongue/article4575333.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=16208

“Many children speak a home language that differs from the language of instruction in education programs. Research confirms that children learn best in their mother tongue as a prelude to and complement of bilingual and multilingual education. […] If they continue to have opportunities to develop their first language skills in secondary school, they emerge as fully bilingual (or multilingual) learners. If, however, children are forced to switch abruptly or transition too soon from learning in their mother tongue to schooling in a second language, their first language acquisition may be attenuated or even lost. Even more importantly, their self-confidence as learners and their interest in what they are learning may decline, leading to lack of motivation, school failure, and early school leaving.” – Unesco report by Jessica Ball titled “Enhancing learning of children from diverse language backgrounds: Mother tongue-based bilingual or multilingual education in early childhood and early primary school years”
UNESCO Mother-tongue based EY 2010.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=16476

Learn more about tribal communities in West Bengal

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Childhood and children, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Multi-lingual education, Music and dance, Organizations, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Seasons and festivals, Success story, Tagore and rural culture, Tips, Tourism, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged , | Comments Off on Learn more about tribal communities in West Bengal

Learn more about tribal communities in Madhya Pradesh

When it comes to protein and calorie counts, milk and bananas do not match up to eggs, particularly for [Madhya Pradesh], where development indicators are among India’s worst: Almost 51% of children under five years of age are underweight, and … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Archaeology, Central region – Central Zonal Council, Childhood and children, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Democracy, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools, Endangered language, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Multi-lingual education, Museum collections - India, Music and dance, Narmada, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG), Resources, Revival of traditions, Seasons and festivals, Tips, Tourism, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged , | Comments Off on Learn more about tribal communities in Madhya Pradesh

eJournal | “Children learn best in their mother tongue as a prelude to multilingual education”: Understanding India’s “Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education” – Unesco

Many children speak a home language that differs from the language of instruction in education programs. Research confirms that children learn best in their mother tongue as a prelude to and complement of bilingual and multilingual education. Whether children successfully … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Childhood and children, eBook eJournal PDF, Education and literacy, Government of India, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Multi-lingual education, Organizations, Quotes, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Tribal culture worldwide | Comments Off on eJournal | “Children learn best in their mother tongue as a prelude to multilingual education”: Understanding India’s “Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education” – Unesco

eJournal | Writing and teaching Santali in different alphabets: A success story calling for a stronger sense of self-confidence – West Bengal

Santali is one of India’s many Adivasi languages. Today, seven different alphabets are used to write in it. Some argue that this great variety does not help the community’s development. | Read the full article (3,3 MB) >> Among South … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Childhood and children, Commentary, Community facilities, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, eBook eJournal PDF, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Film, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Modernity, Multi-lingual education, Museum collections - India, Music and dance, Names and communities, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Santali language and literature, Seasons and festivals, Storytelling, Success story, Tagore and rural culture, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on eJournal | Writing and teaching Santali in different alphabets: A success story calling for a stronger sense of self-confidence – West Bengal

Cultural invisibility – India’s 600 potentially endangered languages

Literacy level among women in India being alarmingly low, it will be necessary to expand our school education system so as to introduce and include as many languages as possible, so that the girl children are educated in their own … Continue reading

Posted in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assimilation, Childhood and children, Community facilities, Constitution and Supreme Court, Democracy, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Modernity, Multi-lingual education, Names and communities, Organizations, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Storytelling, Tribal identity, Women | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Cultural invisibility – India’s 600 potentially endangered languages