Should students be compulsorily taught in mother tongue at school?

Should students be compulsorily taught in mother tongue at school?

Question:-Recently, the Kannada Language Learning Bill 2015 was introduced by the Congress government in the Karnataka Assembly. Do you think the government should take initiatives to make the mother tongue a compulsory language in schools? Comment from both the aspects (for and against).

The Karnataka government passed a bill to make the Kannada language as a compulsory subject from Class 1 to 10 in all the schools which are affiliated to the Karnataka board. The bill also states that the language should be a compulsory medium of instruction from Class 1 to 5. Kannada should be taught as the first or the second language at the schools.

Section 29 (2) (f) of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act ,2009 states “the medium of instruction shall, as far as practicable, be in the child's mother tongue.” The bill covers all the government, ICSE, CBSE and international schools that come under the RTE.

The government should make the mother tongue a compulsory language in schools.

- Development of language abilities – Mother tongue should be made as a compulsory language in schools as it would help the kids to improve their mother tongue. Kids should be taught to speak and write in their mother tongue. It will enhance their skills in writing and developing their own mother tongue. Parents should make the kids to speak in their mother tongue even at the home.

- Reach of education – Half of the India comes under the rural population. Many rural kids belong to a family where their parents or relatives have no knowledge about the English language. Such kids would prefer to go to a school wherein their mother tongue is a first or second language. This would increase widen up the reach of education in India.

- Preserve cultural identity – Making a child to learn his mother tongue, would help to preserve the cultural identity. If Kannada is included in the syllabus of all the schools in Karnataka, children would learn about the history and other details about their culture. It will help to increase their knowledge about their own mother tongue. Amongst the adoption of Western culture, preserving the identity of a state and its language is of great importance.

- Participation of parents – Parents are considered to be a backbone of the career of their kids. By making the mother tongue as first or second language, parents will be freely able to communicate with the teachers and can help the students at home with their assignments and studies. Thus, the parents will feel that they can actually make a big difference in their child's education.

- Easy to get enrolled – If the mother tongue is the first or second language in the schools, students find it easier to get enrolled. They do not face any difficulty during the process of admission. There is a better chance for the kids to fit into the education system.

It is not mandatory to make the mother tongue as a subject in schools.

- Creates communication gap – In India, the languages of Hindi and English brings the people together and connects them. Using the mother tongue as a first or second language in school will later on cause a trouble to the kids. They have to learn English so as to communicate with people from different spheres.

- Competition – Almost all the schools in India follows English as a medium of instruction. It is also considered to be an important subject in the syllabus of student. Adopting mother tongue as a main language in the school won't help the kids to thrive in the competitive world.

- Globalized language – English is the most common language which is being used all over the world. Mother tongue does not help us when we go abroad. By making, mother tongue as the first language in schools, children will loose the fluency to speak n English. English should be the medium of instruction in all schools.

- Loose of originality – As the concepts and definitions of subjects like Science, Mathematics etc are created in English, it should be taught in the medium of English language. The translation of the facts into a mother tongue would spoil its originality.

Facts and Figures

- According to the World Bank, the rural population of India in 2011 was 68.70.

- 80% content of the WWW is written in English.

- Kannada should be made a compulsory language in all the schools from class 1 to 10.

- RTE was enacted on August 4, 2009.

- India is one among the 135 countries to make education as a fundamental right.

- UNESCO has declared February 21 as International Mother Language Day.

- During the years of 1970-1971, the government of Arunachal Pradesh decided to drop all the 14 tribal languages which were studied as the mother tongue.
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