NEW DELHI: While teaching students up to grade 5 in the mother tongue or regional language will promote multilingualism, students may find it difficult to adjust in higher grades where the language of instruction is l English, according to many school principals.
In accordance with the new National Education Policy (NEP), the language of instruction up to at least grade 5, but preferably to grade 8 and beyond, will be mother tongue, mother tongue, the local language and the regional language.
“We must first distinguish between language and literacy. Language is speaking and is natural to our brain. Literacy is reading and writing that needs to be learned by our brain,” Vishnu said. Karthik, Director of Heritage Schools.
He said children’s brains are designed to learn multiple languages, and the more languages they are exposed to, the more languages they can absorb from an early age.
“Thus, teaching in only one language is not the best use of the critical learning windows that nature has given for language learning. Teaching only in English or only in the mother tongue is not good practice Rather a healthy mix of 2-3 languages is good for kids in primary school,” he said.
When it comes to literacy (reading and writing), Karthik said it’s best to keep it simple by focusing on just two literacy languages.
“For urban parents, English and a vernacular should be good. A third literacy can be learned after grade 5,” he added.
According to Alka Kapur, Principal of Shalimar Bagh Modern School, English is a universal language and in the guidelines it is written that it can be used as far as possible.
“It is not clear whether ‘as far as possible’ means a subject or a place. English should be a common language because everyone wants their child to know the language and I think if it is taught at baseline, that would be great,” she mentioned.
“The regional language with the English language would be a good idea because the English language is a window to the world and every child in the foundation should focus on learning English,” she added.
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A representative from Green Fields Public School, who declined to be identified, said: ‘It’s good to promote multilingualism, but making (vernacular) languages the medium of education is not a wise approach. . Suddenly, when students move on to higher grades, we will find them struggling with English, which is now the official working language in majority places”.
Pallavi Upadhyaya, Director, DPS Raj Nagar Extension, Ghaziabad, said the new education policy focuses on a trilingual approach and aims to teach students in their early years of development more than one mother tongue.
“The policy clearly mentions that no language will be imposed on anyone, it will be the choice of the school and the students independently. The decision taken by the Ministry of Education is to promote multilingualism and unity We will plan our action plan only after discussion with stakeholders,” she said.
When the first version of the policy was unveiled last year, language issues caused the most outrage as it called for compulsory teaching of Hindi to all students.
The clause was later dropped and the final policy document clearly states that “there will be greater flexibility in the trilingual formula, and no language will be imposed on any state”.
“The three languages learned by the children will be the choice of the states, regions and of course the students themselves, provided that at least two of the three languages are native to India. Sanskrit will be offered as an option for all school and higher education levels,” the policy says, adding that other classical languages will also be available, possibly as online modules, while foreign languages will be offered at secondary level.