Section 29(f) of Chapter V under Right to Education Act, 2009 clearly states that, “medium of instructions shall, as far as practicable, be in child’s mother tongue.”
Education is in the concurrent list of the Constitution and majority of the schools are under the domain of the States/UTs.
As envisaged in para 4.11 of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, is to be the home language/mother tongue/local language/regional language.
Thereafter, the home/local language shall continue to be taught as a language wherever possible.
The NIPUN Bharat Mission of the Government of India through its Mission Implementation Guidelines suggests that teaching learning process and development of teaching learning material should be done in mother tongue.
Similarly, Vidya Pravesh- a three-month play-based school preparation programme for Grade-I and NISHTHA FLN (Foundational literacy and Numeracy) have also re-emphasised the same.
As per Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2020-21, there are 28 languagesin which teaching learning is going on in grades (1-5). The languages are as follows:
Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, English, Bodo, Khasi, Garo, Mizo, French, Hmar, Karbi, Santhali, Bhodi, Purgi.
During the formulation of NEP 2020, a large number of consultations were held with different stakeholders including State/UT Governments, Government of India Ministries, Members of Parliament, public etc.
The Draft NEP 2019 was uploaded on Ministry of Education’s website to elicit comments and suggestions from the various stakeholders.
Further, letters were written to the States/UTs Governments and Government of India Ministries inviting their views and comments on Draft NEP 2019.
An Education Dialogue with Hon’ble MPs of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Karnataka & Odisha was organized in the month of July and August, 2019. Around 2 lakh suggestions on the Draft NEP were received from various stakeholders.
A special meeting of CABE was organised in Sepetember, 2019 to discuss Draft NEP. 26 Education Ministers of various States and UTs, representatives of States and UTs, Members of CABE, Heads of Autonomous Organizations, Vice Chancellors of Universities, attended the meeting along with senior officials.
A meeting of Parliamentary Standing Committee was held in November, 2019 to discuss the Draft. Accordingly, based on all feedback/commentts received, NEP 2020 was finalized and the same had been approved by the Union Cabinet on 29.07.2020.
The information was given by the Minister of State for Education, Annpurna Devi in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Monday.