The prime minister was speaking at ‘Shiksha Parv’, an event organized by the ministry of education, where he spoke extensively on the new National Education Policy.
Strongly vouching for the use of mother tongue as the medium of instruction in schools, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that “people trapped in bookish knowledge” often fail to grasp that language is a way to communicate knowledge but not the entire knowledge in itself.
Speaking at the ‘Shiksha Parv’, an event organized by the Union Education ministry, Modi also sought to make it clear that while local languages were being promoted in the new National Education Policy (NEP), there was no bar at all on the teaching of English or any other language that can be helpful on the global stage.
He also said the new National Curriculum Framework (NCF) would be ready by 2022 when the country celebrates its 75th year of independence.
“After the NEP came, there has been much discussion on what will be the language of instruction. Here we have to understand one scientific fact that language is the medium of education, not the entire education itself. People caught in too much bookish knowledge often fail to grasp this distinction. Whatever language the child can learn easily in should be the medium of instruction,” he said.
He said it should be seen if the child can grasp what is being said in the class. And if she can, how effortlessly that is happening. It should not be that more effort of the child goes into just understanding the language rather than the subject, the prime minister said.
Top ranking countries, like Estonia, Ireland, Finland, Japan, Poland, and South Korea in the global assessment, PISA, impart primary education in the mother tongue, he said.
The language which the children hear at home is the language in which they learn the fastest, Modi said. Learning in another language can be quite stressful for children, he added.
The prime minister said that in rural areas, parents cannot even remain connected to their child’s school education when the mother tongue is not the medium of instruction. So, till grade 5, the medium of instruction should be the mother tongue or the local language according to the NEP, he said.
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