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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Enable children to learn languages without ignoring mother tongue, says Venkaiah Naidu

Speaking at the 30 Years of the ‘Convention on the Rights of the Child’ (CRC), Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu called for a special focus on the mother tongue.

education Updated: Nov 21, 2019 10:04 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
New Delhi
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.(PTI file)

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday said children should be enabled to learn as many languages as possible without neglecting or ignoring their mother tongue.

Speaking at the 30 Years of the ‘Convention on the Rights of the Child’ (CRC), he also called for special focus on mother tongue.

There is another dimension of good education which is the children’s right to “learn and use the language and customs of their families, whether these are shared by the majority of people in the country or not” as Article 30 of the Convention specifies, Naidu said.

The United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child (commonly abbreviated as the CRC or UNCRC) is a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.

“We must encourage our mother tongue because ‘bhasha’ (language) and ‘bhawna’ (emotions) go hand in hand. Mother tongue is like eyes and other languages are like spectacles. Children must be taught their mother tongue first,” the vice president said.

He said the next area of focus must be nutrition and it is appalling that at the all-India level, 21 per cent of children under the age of five years are wasted and 36 per cent of children under the age of five years are underweight. “Good health is the absolute precondition to a fulfilling life. I am happy that the government has taken the initiative to address this concern through the POSHAN Abhiyan. We must recommit ourselves with renewed determination to the principles of CRC,” Naidu said.

The vice president also urged parliamentarians to prioritise child welfare and evolve meaningful child-centred policies, and empower and equip children to be the change agents and the transformational leaders of the future He also called for providing “quality education” which is affordable and inclusive.

Expressing concern over incidents of exploitation, cruelty, abuse, crime, trafficking, and discrimination faced by children around the world, the vice president stressed on the needed to address these formidable threats that endanger children, on a war footing. “We must begin by ensuring education to every single child. No child is to be left behind.”