Expectations from the mother tongue

Language plays a vital role in shaping the outlook and aspirations of people. Being and identity maker it brings out the original and natural characteristics of a nation by manifesting a culture, history, societalnorms beliefs and social fabric. Unless all these aspects of a people’s life can be fully satisfied, their progress in any way shell remain stagnant and hampered. The mother tongue is a wonder full vehicle for translating every kind of human expression originating from the human mind. Educational psychologists, academics and language experts all agree that children can be educated in the best manner in the mother tongue, proving this fact, there are many practical examples of nations who have excelled in every sphere of life in the modern hi-tech world. Unfortunately, our educational polices makers remain divided and confused on the language issue to the extent that they ignored altogether the importance of a mother tongue in its real academic perspective. The medium of instruction, with the passage of time, was politicised and even manipulated for the sake of ethnic and linguistic divisions. Experts say it should been the other way around language should be use for creating national harmony and unity in diversity rather than creating rifts on ethnic lines. But the question is whether introducing the mother tongue as a medium of instruction will help improve our educational standards and decrease the high dropout rate at the primary level. The step would have a far reaching and positive impact on the children as they always think in the mother tongue because their natural thought process has been built that way. Imposing any other thought process on them results in boredom and confusion. Children can best express themselves in the mother tongue, he observed, while adding that the change was started when the British academia decided to introduce English as a medium of instruction in India when they would stress on the students to think in English. Implementation of polices has always been an issue. We come up with things that look good on paper but which add up to zilch when it comes to practically. Making use of the mother tongue will make the children culturally sound. Right now they are even unaware of our national heroes, our history and social norms. Our youth may be well aware of the latest chart-topping music in the west but they don’t know a thing about local music. They can abundantly quote Shakespeare but won’t know a single line from the work of Rahman baba or other hero. The mother tongue can be used as a teaching aid and not as medium of instruction. Yes, it can be made a compulsory subject till the eighth grade though it would add to the miseries of students who are already overburden with heavy school bages,the mother tongue would  solve many of our problems as it is a win down to our own rich culture, history and folklore. Encompassing our past it would inspire our talented children, reduce the dropout rate and make us feel proud of our own identity.

By Shamim Bokhari (204/10)


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