Thursday, July 30, 2009
I do not understand what all this hoopla about making state langauge compulsory as the medium of instruction till fourth standard in all schools. I do agree that when one lives in a particular state it is a good practice to try and learn the local language of that state for the purpose of communicating. It makes life easier for our day to day transactions.
The most important thing is first teaching our children our mother tongue. I have come across parents who try hard to teach their children English first, fearing that children might find it difficult when they start going to school . This, I feel, is totally unfounded. Children will anyway learn English once they start going to school. But they will never get a chance to learn their mother tongue if parents do not teach them. Children have an ear for languages and pick it up easily.
It is a different matter that once children learn to speak English and Hindi then their sentences are laced with a mix of different languges as I have seen in my son. He used to speak Konkani which is our mother tongue fluently but now every sentence has English, Hindi , and sometimes even Telugu words in it.
So the question is should we burden our children with having to learn the local language? As it is they have so much to learn these days and it becomes very difficult for them every time to learn a new language. This will be a big problem for children whose parents get transferred frequently. I am sure many of you have gone through this trauma during your school life.
I believe that the mother tongue is something that should be taught by the parents mandatorily. Beyond this, it is best left to the parents to decide the focus of their child's lanuage orientation. But there is absolutely no place here for politics. After all language is a tool to communicate and not to be taken as a political agenda.