Scope of languages in NEP 2020

Researches show that children pick up languages extremely quickly between the ages of 2 and 8. Multilingualism has great cognitive benefits to young students. Thus, children will be exposed to different languages early, with a particular emphasis on the mother tongue, starting from the Foundational Stage onwards. All languages will be taught in an enjoyable and interactive style with plenty of interactive conversation. It will subsequently lead children to write in the mother tongue in the early years, with skills developed for reading and writing in other languages in Grade 3 and beyond. There will be a major effort from both the Central and State governments to invest in large number of language teachers in all regional languages around the country, and for all languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. States from different regions of India may enter into bilateral agreements to hire teachers in large numbers from each other, to satisfy the three-language formula in their respective States. Extensive use of technology will be implement teaching and learning of different languages.

The three-language formula shall be flexible and will promote multilingualism as well as national unity. No language will be imposed on any State. The three languages learned by children will be the choices of States, regions, and the students themselves. However, at least two of the three languages must be native to India. Every student in the country will participate in a fun project/activity on ‘The Languages of India’, sometime in Grades 6-8, under the ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ initiative. In this project/activity, students will learn about the remarkable unity of most of the major Indian languages, as well as their rich inter-influences and differences. They will also get a sense of the nature and structure of tribal languages, and learn to say commonly spoken phrases and sentences in every major language of India as well as a bit about the rich and uplifting literature of each (through suitable translations).

Sanskrit, is an important modern language mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India, possesses a classical literature that is greater in volume than that of Latin and Greek put together. It contains vast treasures of mathematics, philosophy, grammar, music, politics, medicine, architecture, metallurgy, drama, poetry, storytelling, and more. Sanskrit will thus be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an important and enriching option for students, in the three-language formula. It will be taught in interesting and experiential manner making it contemporarily relevant. Sanskrit textbooks at the foundational and middle school level may be written in Simple Standard Sanskrit to teach Sanskrit through Sanskrit and make its study truly enjoyable.

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