Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said on Friday that English was not an Indian language and that mother tongue education, as suggested in the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP), would strengthen the Indian languages. He was speaking during a webinar on ‘NEP 2020 – The Brighter Future of Education’, hosted by ASSOCHAM.
India got a new NEP after 34 years as it was passed by cabinet in late July and the ambitious document attempts to bring about a slew of changes that could completely transform India’s education system.
The changes include the mother tongue as the language of instruction up to grade 5, free education for all up to the age of 18, the abolition of the division between vocational and non-vocational subjects, the introduction of multidisciplinary education , the abolition of the 10 + 2 structure for a 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 structure in school education, modification of the board examination model, abolition of the MPhil, introduction of a choice between undergraduate courses of 3 or 4 years, etc.
“English is not an Indian language”
The Minister of Education said that English was not an Indian language and lamented that some people believed that learning English was essential to progress in the international arena.
“I have to say that we are not against English, but the mother tongue as a medium of instruction would help to strengthen Indian languages,” he said.
“People have to understand that English is not an Indian language. I would like to say to those who argue that if we don’t learn English we cannot progress globally, we have to look at countries like Japan, Russia, Israel, France, United States which all provide education in their language, “said the Minister of Education.
Over 15 lakh suggestions on NEP 2020 implementation
“The main objective of NEP 2020 is to develop good human beings and not machines. It is a nation-centered policy, full of human values and with regard to innovation, knowledge, research, science and technology, it will be at the forefront on the international level, ”Pokhriyal said during the webinar.
He also said the government had received more than 15 lakh suggestions from all over India on how NEP 2020 could be implemented.
He also said that 10 countries have contacted the Ministry of Education saying they want to implement India’s new education policy in their own country.
Read: 8 Reasons Why Switching From NEP To Mother Tongue Education Could Transform Teaching And Learning In India
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