Imparting education in mother language helps children in early learning: experts 

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ISLAMABAD, /DNA/ – Single National Curriculum (SNC) is a step towards the right direction. However, the reforms in education sector should be continued to provide children the optimal learning opportunities in the languages they could best understand, especially the mother language.  

The experts from education and development sectors said this while sharing their views with the participants of the webinar titled: ‘Role of Languages in Learning & Cognitive Development’, organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in commemoration of International Mother Languages Day. 

Joint Education Advisor, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (MOFEPT), Mr Rafique Tahir asserted that the main objective of the SNC was to offer one single and united curriculum to students from diverse backgrounds. Besides, the SNC is still a test curriculum and open for changes. 

He added further, “language is not only a tool of communication but also a complete identity. Under a broader consensus, Urdu was suggested as a language for the early education,”.    

 Dr Ghulam Ali, Director, Centre for Languages and Translation Studies, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), said that language and construction of reality goes together and any language which is unfamiliar to a child, cannot be helpful in learning. He added that we should first teach language as a subject and then start teaching them other discipline in that language. He suggested that knowledge creation in the national language or in the local languages by translating science and mathematics in these languages, would ultimately lead us to take national stance on education and learning.   

 Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, in his opening remarks said that uniformity in education was the need of hour and SNC is a step towards the right direction.  

“The bifurcation between the Urdu and English systems of education in Pakistan has been under discussion since long and thus, practical measures were being awaited,” Dr Suleri highlighted and added further that in Pakistan, almost 75 languages are being spoken.  Only 25 of these languages are facing extinction that we may avert through collective efforts, he added.  

Dr Nargis Abbas, Assistant Professor, University of Sargodha, was of view that language is the obligatory instrument of the whole learning process while mother language helps a child to develop his/her cognitive development and literacy skills. She added further that learning in secondary language goes through rethought process. Thus, the conceptual gaps occur when a child is taught in secondary languages which ultimately impacts their learning in the whole life, she concluded.  

Founder Daral Aloom-ul-Aalmiyah, Bani Gala Islamabad, Moulana Imran Javed Aziz Sandhu, opined that for a comprehensive development and integration of a child within a society, we need different languages that may enable a child to learn in any language as per his requirement. 

Mr Shahid Minhas, from SDPI, earlier shared his hope with the participants that SNC and education in national language will address to major extent the ills in our present education system.