UGC chairman also noted changes brought in by the new education policy.
Learning in one's native language, particularly during the initial years of formal education, contributes significantly to enhancing children's cognitive abilities, said the University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Professor M Jagadesh Kumar.
Prof Kumar made this point in a letter addressed to the Chairperson of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). He wrote to Chairperson of CBSE, Nidhi Chhibber, expressing his delight at CBSE's initiative to promote multilingual education nationwide.
"I am delighted to observe an important initiative by CBSE to foster multilingual education nationwide. It is heartening to note that CBSE has now permitted schools to provide instruction in Indian languages from pre-primary levels up to class XII. Schools play an immensely pivotal role in this endeavour. Learning in one's native language, particularly during the initial years of formal education, contributes significantly to enhancing children's cognitive abilities in numeracy and problem-solving and fostering creativity and innovation. CBSE-affiliated schools will be crucial in advancing this objective by imparting education in Indian languages," read the letter by the University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman.
To promote teaching and learning in local languages, the National Education Policy 2020 emphasises multilingual and multicultural education. It highlights the substantial cognitive advantages that multilingualism offers young learners.
In his letter, the UGC Chairman commended CBSE for allowing schools to provide instruction in Indian languages from pre-primary levels up to class XII. He pointed out in the letter that learning in one's mother tongue can considerably improve children's cognitive capacities in math and problem-solving as well as stimulate creativity and originality, especially during their initial years of formal education.
The UGC Chairman also informed Chhibber that the UGC has formed an apex committee to prepare textbooks in different Indian languages, with an ongoing effort to translate all standard books into various Indian languages.
"This initiative encourages using Indian languages in the teaching-learning process. To facilitate this, there is an ongoing effort to translate all standard books into various Indian languages. This initiative extends to Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs), where textbooks and study materials are being made available in Indian languages for programs such as B.A., B.Sc., B.Com., and other technical courses. UGC has also requested that the Higher Educational institutions permit students to write the examinations in Indian languages," read the letter by the University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman.
He concluded by saying, "At this juncture, UGC would be happy to work with CBSE in our efforts to make education accessible in Indian languages across all levels, from primary to higher education, in the coming years."
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