Thursday, November 19, 2009

Editorial "MOTHER TONGUE AS MEDIUM" in 31 October 2009 issue of LAW ANIMATED WORLD


of instruction must be there for all school children in the primary classes at least up to 8th class. All private schools which do not teach in the mother tongue/official State language medium must forthwith be proscribed and instead the government schools should be increased and improved by handsome budgetary allocations. The official language of a State must be the 2nd language for all children whose mother tongue is not that language and English should take the third place, that too only after 5th class. Unless our children are taught and brought up with national/ethnic self-respect and cultural consonance, we can never progress to respectable levels in the comity of nations. Macaulay’s men, wherever they exist, should be shunned first, shunted out later. Never should school kids be punished with placards hanged on their necks declaring they would never speak in their mother tongue, etc. Rather we must keep in mind the Jomtein World Declaration on Education for All 1990, unequivocally stating: “Literacy in the mother-tongue strengthens cultural identity and heritage,” and the later Dakar Framework of Action 2000 declaring that structured programmes “should be provided in the child’s mother tongue and help to identify and enrich the care and education of children …”; that UNESCO long ago declared that “it is axiomatic that the best medium for teaching a child is his mother tongue” and that the eminent educationist, philosopher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan “recommended and the Government of India agreed that the medium of instruction in the primary stages must be the mother tongue.” Nor can we forget Gandhiji’s blast that “Among the many evils of foreign rule, this blighting imposition of a foreign medium upon the youth of the country will be counted by history as one of the greatest. It has sapped the energy of the nation, it has estranged them for the masses, it has made education unnecessarily expensive. If this process is still persisted in, it bids fair to rob the nation of its soul. The sooner therefore educated India shakes itself free from the hypnotic spell of the foreign medium, the better it would be for them and the people.” 

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