Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Education in mother tongue showing some signs of promise

DANG, Feb 9: Local Bal Chetana Secondary School at Duruwa, Dang has dispelled the myth that schooling outcome, including the enrollment rate, is an upshot of many different things, including school uniform and money.Inhabited predominantly by Tharus, the school has already achieved an impressive enrollment rate, thanks to the lessons imparted in mother tongue.

Even as questions are raised about the sustainability and efficacy of the government plans to set up the infrastructure for delivering education in mother tongue, this school has shown a promise toward that ends.
Some 500 students - about 95 percent - are now regularly going to school after the school started teaching in Tharu language two years ago.

"My pupils would not come to school and if at all a few of them stayed in class, the lessons taught to them in Nepali were Greek to them," Hara Chaudhary, class teacher for the third-graders, said, explaining the situation before the launch of the mother tongue.

"Now that we have started to teach in mother tongue, things have changed -- it has been easier for the pupils to grasp the lecture and they are regular too," Chaudhary reasoned.

Prior to the introduction of mother tongue pedagogy, most Tharu students, especially in lower classes, would fail in exam as the medium of teaching was Nepali. "We then consulted with the guardians and decided to start teaching in Tharu language," revealed the Principal, Megh Raj Lamsal.

He said the number of students has almost trebled with Tharu as the medium of instruction.
Lamsal further added that the enrollment rate has shot up to 60 percent and fewer than 20 percent are abstaining from exams.

The bilingual - Nepali-Tharu-medium of instruction has also been beneficial for the Tharu students to grasp the Nepali language. "We write a sentence in Nepali at first and translate it into Tharu language to ensure that students of all communities understand," Chaudhary added.

source:rising nepal