The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 retrieves the three-language formula, stating that “where possible, students should be taught in their mother tongue / regional language / local language up to class 5.”
India has 122 major languages - varied by region, dialect and much more. Officially, we have 22 official languages, of which English is the only one. For such a large country and people, the emphasis on teaching in a language that students may not be familiar with or comfortable with is not only excluded, but also limited.
The previous education model had a bilingual system, where first language (L1, usually English) was compulsory and sometimes teaching method. Optional second language (L2) can be Hindi, Kannada, Sanskrit, French, etc. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 reiterates the three-language formula, stating that “where possible, students should be taught in their mother tongue / regional language. Language / local language up to 5th grade.”
It is widely observed that learning home language allows students to move more comfortably from home to school, especially at an early age (i.e., school foundation and preparatory level). The transition of an early student – from experiential learning with parents and familiar adults at home to learning in a new setup based on a specific curriculum with unfamiliar instructors / s and co-teachers – can be very difficult and challenging, even for the most active. Add the burden of interacting in a relatively new language in which they do not feel comfortable and are more likely to lose interest in learning in this setup. Allowing students to continue instruction in their mother tongue as they go to school gives them the comfort and confidence to be employed in their new setup. They are more confident about class interactions, asking questions, offering answers and engaging with peers.
Importantly, Section 4.14 of the NEP 2020 also addresses the need to create high-quality bilingual textbooks and teaching / learning materials for science and mathematics. There are some people who believe that the subjects or subjects taught in the student’s home language cannot be chosen in English as the medium of instruction. It has been proven wrong. Research has shown that when a student learns concepts and skills in their home language, they do not need to be instructed again after moving to another language. As their vocabulary grows in new languages, they will express their learning skills and ideas in new languages. Bilingual textbooks enable students to think and speak about these topics in their mother tongue / mother tongue and in English. Thus, it is extremely important because it addresses any gaps, especially in matters that are vital to any life or economy. And moreover, it provides opportunities for students who have not had the opportunity to study these subjects in the past due to language limitations.
The National Statistical Organization of India (NSO) has recently released its report on education for 2021. The results showed that only one in four students go to school with English as a medium of instruction at pre-primary, primary, secondary, secondary and tertiary levels. Schooling is present as a medium of instruction in three other regional or local languages. This strengthens the case as well as the goal of NEP 2020. In terms of demographic classification, local language (native or local language) students are particularly aspiring, from the next billion and struggling families. The focus of edtech companies like LearnHat is perfect for targeting these audiences. In particular, the aspirants (family income of Rs. 5-10 lakhs) and the next billion (family income of Rs. 1.5 – 5 lakhs) after getting the first taste of Adtech / online education (accelerated in this time) the cost of Adtech is going to increase significantly due to COVID-19 epidemic. However, it is important to understand their needs, questions and aspirations in learning, especially learning in their mother tongue.
Ii Understand that the desire to learn English-medium is accompanied by better opportunities and career prospects. But forcing young students to do so would create a negative perception. Starting learning in a regional setup and gradually introducing English as a co-medium of learning can go a long way in ensuring that a student learns well and is not afraid to express himself in the short and long term. Our goal ambition is an easy and comfortable learning experience for students and learners, and instruction in the local language (home language) is a culturally sensitive, sure way to do it.