States to emulate Odisha model - The New Indian Express

States to emulate Odisha model

Published: 17th November 2012 12:00 PM

Last Updated: 17th November 2012 12:00 PM

Over 15,000 tribal children have benefited from the mother tongue-based multilingual Early Childhood Education (ECE) model, initiated by the National Advocacy Council for Development of Indigenous People (NACDIP), first in Odisha.

The pilot project started in Odisha for the first time has now many takers across the country. “The State is now a pioneer in Mother Tongue-based Multilingual ECE and this model will now be replicated in many other tribal-dominated states,” said NACDIP South India convenor K Krishnan. The model is aimed at providing education to the tribal children during their pre-primary education in their mother tongue. NACDIP has been working on this model in Odisha for the past five years and is now trying to hand over the model to the State Government for widespread implementation.

The pilot project has been implemented by the NACDIP in 500 centres initially in collaboration with the anganwadi centres. NACDIP usually hires a local facilitator who is fluent in the local tribal language for every centre. In this model, the tribal children are taught in their mother tongue between the age two and four years. From the age of four to six, the tribal children are taught in four languages _ Odia, Hindi, English and their mother tongue.

The Odisha Adivasi Manch (OAM) has also been working along with the NACDIP officials to promote the model and has been successful in doing so. The cost for this scheme comes around ` 25,000 for every centre. “In a recent notification by the State government, they have stated that they would implement the mother tongue- based ECE in around 25,000 tribal-dominated anganwadis across the State,” said NACDIP Odisha representative Jacob Thundyil.

NACDIP organised a national-level consultation on the mother tongue-based ECE in tribal regions to create an awareness about the model and generate consensus amongst the representatives of different States.

The consultation was supported by Bernard Van Leer Foundation. NACDIP representatives from 13 tribal-dominated States had participated in the discussions on how to spread the model to the various States and gradually transfer the model to the respective State governments. NACDIP has also submitted its recommendations on ECE to the Centre which has accepted them and will act on them in the near future.

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