Sat. May 25th, 2024

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Students across the country, from school up to higher education, will now be able to study in their mother tongue as textbooks will be available in 22 Indian languages soon, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing a gathering on the occasion of the third anniversary of the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 at the newly inaugurated Bharat Mandapam at Pragati Maidan.

At the event — which consisted of students, teachers, academics, scholars, cabinet ministers, officials and other stakeholders — the prime minister launched 100 books in 12 Indian languages in line with NEP 2020’s aim of promoting regional languages.

“Textbooks will be available in 22 Indian languages now. Studying in their regional language will help promote the talent of Indian youth. If the youth have confidence of the language, then their skills and talents will also get a platform,” said PM Modi, who also inaugurated the two-day-long Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha Samagam at the event.

PM Modi also inaugurated the first instalment of the PM Schools for Rising India (PM SHRI) funds. The total cost of the project will be Rs 27,360 crore spread over a period of five years which includes central share of Rs 18,128 crore.

Stressing on learning in the home language, Modi said most developed countries the world over such as Europe use only their mother tongue as a medium of instruction but so far in India, speaking or imparting education in the regional language was looked down upon.

“But, the implementation of NEP and developing of books in regional languages will now help leave that sentiment behind. Learning in mother tongue is also a step towards social justice. So far, students, in particular from rural areas, were discriminated against on the basis of the language they spoke. Those not knowing English were not recognised for their talent readily, but now it will be a thing of the past,” the PM said.

From social science to engineering, students will be able to study all disciplines in Indian languages, he added.

NEP 2020 envisages teaching primary school students up to class 5 in the mother tongue. Also, it underlines the need for making high-quality higher education available in Indian languages.

The new policy was launched by the Union government on July 29, 2020, with an aim to transform the education system, aligning it with needs of the future while keeping it “rooted in Indianness”.

“When we introduced NEP, a huge challenge lay before all of us. But with the help of teachers, academicians, experts and students, we were able to make it a success. They took it as a mission to implement it across the country, which is a huge feat in itself. I thank all of them for their success,” he said.

The new National Curriculum Framework (NCF) is also being developed under NEP, the PM said. “I am told that the curriculum for the foundational stage has already been released and that for the remaining stages, it will be readied soon,” said Modi.

The NCF entails changes in the structuring (5+3+3+4) and pedagogy of school education at all levels — from foundational learning to secondary levels. Some of the major changes include children to be taught in mother tongue at the early stages. At the secondary level, the major changes proposed include modular board exams and greater flexibility in subject choices. The pre-draft for different stages has already been released while the finalised version of the draft NCF is likely to be ready by year-end, officials had said.

Speaking about the need for making institutions “future-ready”, PM Modi said students of this generation will make India a research hub. “While we have two international campuses of IITs opening in Zanzibar and Abu Dhabi, there are several more countries that are requesting us to open more IIT campuses there. Also, many global universities want to establish their campuses in India, the doors for which have been opened,” he said.

Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan, while welcoming the prime minister at the event, said the education policy shows India’s progress and the way forward for its youth. “This education policy showcases India’s emotions and progress,” he said. ​

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