New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Education has told the Supreme Court (SC) that it is fully backing a push for “mother tongue” as a medium of instruction in schools.
The Ministry said that the use of “home language” for learning will bridge the gap between the intellectuals and the masses.
The Ministry had already directed the academic authorities like Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), to initiate the implementation of the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP), to promote “multilingualism” and the use of “home language” as a mode of instruction.
The affidavit from the Central government came in response to the SC’s inclination to examine whether imposing English on school children, whose language of instruction is their mother tongue, will amount to prevent them from an effective education guaranteed to them under Article 21A (fundamental right to education) of the Constitution.
The case being referred to is an appeal submitted by the Andhra Pradesh government against the State High Court’s choice to strike down its request to make English a compulsory medium of guidance in school.
A group of Telugu scholars and prominent personalities led by former Deputy Speaker of Andhra Pradesh, Mandali Buddha Prasad, represented by advocate Vipin Nair, have opposed the move by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government. They said the government move will see Telugu join the pantheon of 197 regional and ethnic languages that have become extinct in the country.
“At times in multilingual families, there can be a home language spoken by other family members which may sometimes be different from mother tongue or local language. The medium of instruction until at least Grade 5 but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language/mother-tongue/local language/regional language,” the government quoted as saying by The Hindu.