Importance of the medium of instruction

forumI read with great interest the cover story “Mother tongue to many tongues” which appeared in your January 2010 issue. I did my high school (what was then called SSLC) in the year 1954. We had three languages to study and they were all compulsory – Telugu, Telugu Special (we could take any foreign language or Sanskrit in lieu), English and Hindi. After having studied in the Telugu medium, when I joined college in Bangalore I did not find it difficult to cope with the English medium. But then we did not have distractions like cinema, TV or the magazine culture that exists now.

Captain HK Rajagopal.

Schools and bandhs

I would like to compliment “Teacher Plus” for taking up the important issue of how educational institutions have become the prime target whenever there is a disruption or the so called bandh. It’s an important national issue and ideally should have been highlighted by both the national print and electronic media. Unfortunately, this aspect of educational development does not find space or time in the mass media. On the one hand, we consider children as the future citizens of India, but when there is unrest in the society, educational institutions are forced to close down for the safety of its children. Why don’t we demand the inclusion of educational institutes under the Essential Services Act and allow them to function normally like the other essential services. What is the use of Right to Education when educational institutions have to close under threat or otherwise. If we can spend crores of rupees to provide security to sundry politicians who are behind such disruptions, why can’t money also be spent on safety of our future citizens?

N Nagarajan, Hyderabad.

Teaching and learning languages

Your January 2010 cover story was interesting to read. However I don’t agree with the author when he says children in India have to learn “too many languages too soon” for if the delivery and assessment are age appropriate and pedagogically sound there is no question of ‘too many languages too soon’.

A child is born with a hundred expressive and communicative languages (Loris Malaguzzi), learning a few more is not an issue… it is the teaching that needs to be tackled before the learning can happen.

Payal (via email)

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