Tribal Children To Be Taught In Mother Tongue In Government Schools, Says Union Minister

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Tribal Children To Be Taught In Mother Tongue In Government Schools, Says Union Minister

Tribal Children To Be Taught In Mother Tongue, Says Union Minister

New Delhi:  Shri Upendra Kushwaha, the Minister of State for Human Resource Development (HRD) yesterday said that the union government through Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) recognises the intra-regional, inter-state disparities and is supporting States/UTs to improve the infrastructure of schools in tribal areas. An important step taken in this regard is the identification of Special Focus Districts (SFDs). One of the criteria for identification of SFDs is the concentration of Scheduled Tribe (ST) population. The ministry has identified 109 districts as ST concentration districts. 

Upendra Kushwaha also detailed the infrastructure sanctioned for elementary and secondary government schools in these districts under SSA and RMSA, since 2009-10:
  • New schools approved in SFDs: 2812
  • Strengthening of schools: 4826
  • Girls Hostel: 474
  • ICT in school: 8273
  • Opening of new Primary Schools (including EGS to PS): 6677 
  • Opening of new Upper Primary Schools (UPS): 5677
  • Construction of Primary School buildings: 6287
  • Construction of Upper primary School buildings: 4619
  • Construction of Additional Classrooms: 125936

He also informed that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs administers a programme under Article 275 (1) of constitution which provides grants to 27 states for setting up of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) for quality education of ST students of Class VI to Class XII.

The government also releases funds for infrastructural development of tribal residential schools including hostels under Article 275(1) of the Constitution and Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Plan.

Talking about the medium of instruction in tribal schools, he said that Section 29(2) (f) of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 states that "medium of instructions shall, as far as practicable, be in child's mother tongue". The National Curriculum Framework (NCF), 2005 also elucidates the importance of imparting primary education in the mother tongue of the child.

He said that considering that education is in the Concurrent List, State governments have the liberty to decide the medium of instruction in schools. Several States have taken steps to impart education to children in their mother tongue. The NCF clearly states that the Three-Language Formula is an attempt to address the challenges and opportunities of the linguistic situation in India. As per the "Three Language Formula" the first language to be studied must be the mother tongue or the regional language.

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