A newborn's first exposure to language may be a few cooing noises from the mother or a few words in the mother's native tongue. The youngster, on the other hand, is already listening and attempting to construct her own language, Matrubhasha.
She reaches the pinnacle of astonishment when she turns six and gets admitted to the adjacent elementary school. She may have never been exposed to the language of communication or the medium of education used here.
We've managed to have a long-term negative impact on the child's self-esteem, confidence, and language and cognitive ability at this point. At the foundational level, ensuring that learners grasp reading and numeracy is considerably more vital than forcing our poor children to acquire the language of commerce, official communication, the Internet, social media, or colonialism.
As a result, the use of mother language in early childhood education is critical for facilitating access, retention, transition, and prevention of dropout. According to the 2011 Census of India, there are 121 mother tongues in the country, 22 of which are included in the eighth schedule of our Constitution and spoken by 96.72 percent of Indians.
According to the National Education Policy 2020, "wherever possible, 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" for both public and private schools. There are a few challenges in realising the NEP tenets. There are a few obstacles to implementing the NEP principles.
Teachers are not hired on the basis of languages understood, spoken, or written by them, and many resources are not available in the languages understood by the child. Developing and operationalizing a curricular framework to actualize the benefits of learning in mother language in schools, as recommended by NEP 2020, is a high priority for the Ministry of Education.
There is currently enough data and evidence to show that teaching children in their mother tongue, especially during the foundational years (ages 3 to 8), results with higher retention, higher proficiency, fewer grade repetitions, and superior test scores.
We cannot tolerate the "sink or swim" method of submersion in order to build a student-centered atmosphere. Given the tools available, multilingual instruction, using bilingual textbooks and e-content, etc., can be a fantastic place to start in securing our learners' futures and capacities.