The importance of one’s mother-tongue in primary education: Suitable teaching methods and textbooks

Imagine yourself as a child attending school only to realize that you cannot understand anything said by your teachers (and vice-versa) …

Yet this has long been the unenviable situation faced by “tribal” children all over the world including India, a country whose constitution protects the right of children to learn through their mother tongue:

Across the region, strategies for a more equitable development, including in education, have been developed. Education has also been identified as a major priority area in the Post 2015 development agenda discussions.

Yet, the unfortunate reality is that millions of children in South Asia are still out of school. […]

Girls in rural areas, particularly those from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in India also have higher rates of exclusion. In Bangladesh, boys are more excluded in both levels of education.

Source: ALL CHILDREN IN SCHOOL BY 2015: Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children
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Date Visited: Fri Oct 24 2014 17:30:20 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Many Indian institutions, NGOs and individuals are devoted to the formidable task of developing suitable teaching materials and methods. Their success stories prove that using one’s mother-tongue in primary education is no obstacle to learning an official language including English; on the contrary, this approach benefits teachers, learners and their parents:

Our methods of education have drastically reduced the school dropout rate, and children discover a lot of joy and enthusiasm for learning. While our villages were basically illiterate up to my generation, all children now learn to read and write. Many ex-students of our school are doing very well academically in higher-level schools, colleges and universities. Some of our alumni have government jobs; many more are self-employed. Many educated youths have also taken up the school and organizational responsibilities to carry on the initiative we started a generation ago. Santal villagers are beginning to understand that education makes a difference. –  Boro Baski (M.S.W., Ph.D.) co-founder and principal of Rolf Schoembs Vidyashram | Read more >> 


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