PATNA: Bihar government has decided to use local languages of different areas of the state for teaching schoolchildren in class I and II in its primary schools, apart from Hindi and Urdu. This decision has been taken as children often find it easy to grasp words used in local languages.

Teachers have been asked to be flexible, and switch to the local language spoken in a particular area. This follows increased enrolment of children in the government primary schools.

“It is not a hard and fast rule. Teachers might use standard Hindi or Urdu, but if children find it hard to grasp their words, then they will use local languages and their words with which children are more familiar,” said Hassan Waris, director of the State Council for Educational Research and Training, a wing of the education department, which is implementing the new move.

“Gradually, as the classes progress, like from standard III up to standard V, the teachers would switch to teaching in Hindi or Urdu languages,” he added.

The five local languages spoken in different areas of the state are Maithili, Bhojpuri, Magahi, Angika and Vajjika. Of them, Maithili has been included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, while Bhojpuri-speaking people have been demanding similar status for their language. Studies in Magahi and Angika languages and literature are practised at postgraduate levels in a couple of universities.

Explaining the situation, Waris said children might not be familiar with the word ‘vriksha’ or ‘ped’ for tree in standard Hindi, but can easily grasp ‘gachh’. Similarly, they might not easily pick up the word ‘samay’ in Hindi or ‘waqt’ in Urdu for time, but easily receive the alternative word ‘ber’ in local language. angika_speaking_zone

“It will have twin result. The local languages and their words will not die. And, local cultures, too, will remain alive, retaining the linguistic and cultural vibrancy of the state,” Waris said.

In the light of the decision, reference dictionaries called “language bridge material” containing local words in separate local languages for reference have been prepared. Further, it has been backed by ‘Shikshak Sandarshika (Teachers’ Guide)’.

“They are being printed and would be sent to all primary and middle schools in the state,” Waris said.


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