Education in mother tongues to take time

Kathmandu, November 16:

Even after a decade since the ‘education in mother tongues’ in primary-level education was launched in the country, the government has not yet recruited any teacher for the same purpose.

The Department of Education (DOE) has a record of 5,147 schools conducting classes in multi-languages. However, the same old teachers are teaching in these schools as new teachers, who can teach in mother tongues, have not been recruited. “There are no separate teachers recruited for teaching in mother tongue,” said Mahashram Sharma, director at the DoE, “However, there are teachers who can teach in local languages.”

He said that it would be impractical on the part of the government to centrally recruit teachers to meet its requirements. “Respective community knows better than government about their requirements. And also there are no schools where a single language could be medium of teaching,” he said.

In a bid to conduct teaching in different languages, the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) has developed curricula up to grade V. It has already printed out textbooks up to grade V in 11 different languages - Maithali, Abadhi, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Tamang, Newar, Limbu, Rai Bantawa, Magar, Gurung and Sherpa. Official at the CDC said that translating textbooks in Rai Chamling, Sunuwar and Rajbansi languages will be over soon.

Teaching in different mother tongues was launched to improve quality of education and to prevent students’ dropout at primary-level.

“The number of students enrolment to learn in mother tongues is increasing every year, but we are lacking teachers to teach in mother tongues,” said Yagya Raj Limbu, general secretary of Yakthum Chumlung. He said that they are facing problems in printing textbooks in mother languages, adding demand for textbooks in Limbu language is 34,000 this year.

However, there will be no separate posts for teachers for mother tongue, Sharma said, adding, “The respective school management can demand the required number of teacher for mother tongue on the basis of number of students.”