IIT Kharagpur Director Professor VK Tewari on Saturday called for a policy framework for regional language education to be developed not only in schools but also in technical institutes so that language does not become a barrier to learning. learning.
Adopting the regional language in technical education is “a necessary long-term goal,” Tewari said on his official Facebook page, praising a decision by the Ministry of Education in this regard.
This requires teachers who are proficient in conducting classes in the vernacular along with English, textbooks and reference materials in regional languages, as well as technological assistance such as audio translation aids like those used in the Indian parliament, he said.
The human mind has been observed to be more receptive to communication in the language it is used to thinking in since childhood, he said, adding that in his four decades at IIT Kharagpur, initially as a student and later as a faculty member, teaching and learning has been entirely in English.
“The practice, I would say, continues regardless of the students’ first language and difficulties at the end of adopting English as the primary communication language, thus interrupting the learning process.
“But when it is explained in regional languages, especially in the mother tongue, grasping the concepts or the expression of ideas by the students becomes quite easy,” he said.
This can be seen frequently in hands-on classes and labs where lab instructors often form a close relationship with students and communicate with them in the languages they know, and some teachers even take this approach outside of the classroom, the scholar said.
“Now you have to look at how you can institutionalize such practice in IITs and NITs with a regionally diverse student population,” Tewari said.
“The challenge of language as a barrier to the learning process must be critically reviewed. This would lead to the development of a policy framework for regional language education not only in schools but also in higher education, including technical education, ”he said.
Regional language centers established in technical institutes can bring together students who need language aids, said IIT director Kharagpur.
“Depending on the composition of students from diverse vernacular backgrounds or those facing a challenge in communicating in English, and the availability of teachers with regional language proficiency, these centers can be structured,” he said.
“Let us remember that all over the world, classroom teaching is carried out in a variety of regional languages, be it France, Germany, Russia or a country like China, which has more than 300 languages and dialects, of which 8 are the main ones. Tewari said.