It is very natural that the first language which the child learns to understand and eventually learns to speak is the local language or the mother tongue. Specifically in rural India there is a lack of access to English language. Therefore, kids are only comfortable in their mother tongue or ‘native language’ as we might call it. Since Hindi is the most spoken language, we will keep our discussion specific to teaching in Hindi. But, whenever we refer Hindi, it includes all local languages.
Till the age, the child starts visiting anganwadi or pre school, Hindi is the only language that he or she communicates in.
Moreover, most workers in Anganwadi are from local areas. They are well familiar with Hindi. And hence the early learning begins to happen in the local language.
When the child is old enough to go to a proper school, the natural familiarity is only with Hindi. Furthermore, let’s consider the skill level in our government school teachers today. The majority of them are comfortable in their local language and not so much in English. Therefore, majority teaching begins to happen in Hindi medium.
When it comes to digital learning via Smart Class, it makes a very natural sense to enable teachers and students to continue teaching and learning in Hindi medium only. That is why it is so critical to empower these smart class setups with Hindi medium content that aligns with respective state boards curriculum.
Let’s have a look at the various pointers as to why a Hindi medium learning interface is important:
Psychological aspect: Let’s look at this from a psychological point. What are we wanting to achieve with Smart Class or digital learning? We wish to excite the students to learn. Further, we aim to make it easy for the teachers to teach. All that with a hope that it will lead to improvement in educational outcomes.
How would this happen?
By making usage easy: When teachers and students would feel the urge to regularly use the digital infrastructure that is present; only then will it result to progressive and happy learning. And this needs to be proactive, needs to happen naturally otherwise as stakeholders we will end up spending a lot of time in training, re-training and support.
Now, how do we create natural adoption?
By Building Familiarity: Building a familiar environment that students and teachers get well- accustomed to should be one of the primary focuses. Making them feel as if they are in a secure environment and not in an unfamiliar territory can yield positive results not only initially but in the long-run as well.
And one way in which this can be done is by delivering a solution which is 100% in local language. Not just the content but even the interface, the buttons, the navigation instructions, everything should be in local language.
- The above is one reason why Smart Class in Hindi or in any other local language should be a preferred option while delivering such solutions in our government and rural schools.
- The second reason is because there is so much rich learning material available in Hindi and local languages that we must expose our students to
There are innumerable renowned poets, writers who have created amazing pieces of work in Hindi and other local languages. They are not only masterpieces in themselves but also the work is rooted to our local cultures and values. Imagine, what great deal can our children learn if learning is available to them in their own understandable language.
It is imperative that our students should get to know these works and get the best growth and learning value out of them.
When a child is hungry to learn more. Also when the teacher is all equipped and ready to satisfy the child’s hunger; we know our job is done!
It is vital to eliminate the daily hassles of handling and setting up devices. It is also important to get rid of the space, electricity and internet connectivity challenges. Further, it is also vital that the content that children witness is customized, fun, engaging. It should be in a language that is very much close to what they expect, know and want to pursue. Furthermore, giving teachers a reason to stay forever energetic, well-prepared and optimistic towards their job is pretty essential as well.
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