HTLS 2020 - Debate on 3-language formula, importance of mother tongue in education
The second session of day 5 of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit (HTLS) 2020 saw experts converge their views and ideas on the future of education in India in a post-Covid-19 world. Ashish Dhawan, founder and CEO, Central Square Foundation and Dr Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, former chairman, ISRO and NEPC, talked about the significance of mother tongue in acquiring education and language skills.
Dhawan said, “children should learn their mother tongue if they want to acquire language skills”. Dr Kasturirangan resounded his views, adding that the three-language formula will be given a little bit more flexibility in the in National Education Policy (NEP).
“It is common sense. Every child learns oral language to listen and speak, that comes naturally just at home because you are surrounded by the language. Reading and writing are extremely hard to learn because you have to translate sound into something artificial which is a written language that we have constructed and that takes a lot of work. If it is a language you are not exposed to or don’t speak at home, it is much harder to acquire the language,” Dhawan pointed out.
He also called for more autonomy to private schools along with making them accountable.
Dr Kasturirangan described the NEP as a “landmark document and policy”.
“We look back and say that this really changed the trajectory of India’s education system…earlier it was about access and equity but now we are really focused on outcomes and quality,” he said.
Besides Dhawan and Kasturirangan, Thursday’s session saw Michelin Star chefs and restaurateurs Gaggan Anand, Massimo Bottura and iconic tennis stars Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf.