Importance of teaching in Mother Tongue

Importance of teaching in Mother Tongue

News: This article discusses the importance of educating in Mother tongue across different dimensions.

Background:
• Gandhiji believed that English as a primary medium created a divide between elites and the masses, hindering knowledge dissemination and several leaders including Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Annie Besant, C Rajagopalachari stressed on the importance of Indian controlled education system.

What does UNESCO’s findings on instruction in mother tongue suggest?
• UNESCO has consistently advocated for mother tongue education since 1953 through Global Education Monitoring Reports.
• At least six years of mother tongue instruction is recommended to bridge learning gaps for minority language speakers.

What efforts have been taken in India for the same?
• The CBSE issued a directive, emphasizing the use of the mother tongue for instruction and displaying its commitment to native language education.
• The NEP 2020 also supports the promotion of mother tongue instruction.
• Article 30 (1) - Grants linguistic minorities the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
• Article 351 - Directs the Union to promote Hindi as a means of expression across India, potentially overshadowing other languages.
• Article 350 A – It mandates state to provide primary education in the mother tongue.
• Article 350 B – It establishes a ‘Special Officer’ to address matters concerning linguistic minorities and report them to the President.

How Climate change contributes to language extinction? (You may read this in continuation of above topic or separately as well. It will add value to your answers)
• Climate change-induced forced migration is causing language extinction, particularly in regions rich in languages. Environmental disasters like floods and storms are displacing people, leading to language loss.
• Loss of Traditional Knowledge - Many indigenous and traditional languages are closely tied to specific ecosystems and natural resources. Climate change can alter these ecosystems, leading to the loss of traditional knowledge about how to navigate and sustainably use local resources. As a result, younger generations might not learn the language or cultural practices associated with these ecosystems.
• Disruption of Intergenerational Transmission - Climate-related disruptions can make it challenging for older generations to pass on their languages to younger generations. When communities are faced with immediate survival concerns due to climate impacts, the transmission of language and culture to younger generations might take a backseat.
• Cultural Identity and Pride - Climate change impacts can erode cultural identity and pride, which are often closely tied to language. As communities face hardships and disruptions due to climate-related events, there might be a weakening of the motivation to preserve and pass on their languages. 

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