Mediums of instruction

Pakistan is a country whose children have gone on to achieve the biggest of things across the world

From proving themselves in public policy in parliaments abroad, theorising about the Higgs-Boson and finding evidence of gravitational waves to devising innovative treatments to critical illnesses, people from this country have shown that provided the right initial push and circumstances, they can become world leaders

Yet the country as a whole has little to show in the way of its combined intellectual development with over a third still illiterate and over 20 million children out of school

The government has tried many methods over the years to address its literacy crisis, launching massive recruitment campaigns, refocusing on education, and developing a new national curriculum

As promising as these initiatives sound, they have not adequately addressed the accessibility issue of education in Pakistan

One primary issue is the use of mother tongues in schools or lack thereof

Schools in Pakistan — whether in the public or private sector — focus almost exclusively on using either Urdu and English as the medium of instruction

A recent report by The Citizen’s Foundation and Thar Foundation has pointed out that the use of these languages proves to be a hindrance in learning and that vernacular tongues can offer a solution

The report argues that in a multilingual country like Pakistan, which faces an access and literacy issue, primary education should be offered in the mother tongue of the children to make it easier for them to build their concepts and foundations around core subjects

They can then be transitioned, in a phased manner, to unfamiliar universal languages such as Urdu and English

Even though the choice of Pakistan’s founders to champion Urdu and English was done to foster unity and provide continuity in governance while bridging their gap with the world at large, the country has instead found these to be handicaps, and the results are before us

While riddled with unique challenges of its own, what harm is there in trying a new approach to solve our literacy challenges

Date:17-Jan-2021 Reference:View Original Link