50% of children complete class X in vernacular: NSO | India News
According to the latest report on education from the National Statistical Organization (NSO), 70% or more of students whose mother tongue is Assamese, Bengali and Gujarati completed their school education in these vernacular languages. However, more students whose mother tongue is Malayalam, Telugu, Manipuri, Punjabi, Urdu, Sindhi, Konkani, or Nepali chose English as the medium of instruction at least until class X.
In general, a significant shift towards English as a medium of instruction is observed at the upper secondary level: classes XI and XII.
The 2020 National Education Policy reiterates the three-language formula and suggests a medium of instruction in the home language at least up to Class V. The RTE Act also suggests that the mother tongue should be considered as a medium of instruction whenever it is possible.
The NSO survey reveals that 91.1% of students whose mother tongue is Assamese are learning in their mother tongue at the primary level, the highest for any mother tongue at this level, followed by Odiya with 90.5 %. In upper primary or secondary school, 93.7% of students whose mother tongue is Odiya learn in their mother tongue, followed by Assamese (89.8%), Bengali (86.5%) and Hindi (81.5%).
On the other end of the spectrum are Sanskrit, Urdu, Manipuri, Bodo, Konkani, Nepali, and Sindhi, where the percentage of students studying in their mother tongue is significantly low. According to the survey, there are no students who attend classes in Sanskrit medium. At the primary and secondary level, only 8.7% and 4.7% of students have chosen the Manipuri medium, while 11.4% and 28.6% the Nepalese. The figures for Urdu as the mother tongue and medium of instruction are 11.8% (primary), 14.5% (middle school) and 14.2% at the secondary level.
The report notes that the majority of people whose mother tongue was Malayalam, Telugu, Manipuri, Punjabi, Urdu, Sindhi, Konkani or Nepali, chose English as the medium of instruction. For example, 79.8% of students whose mother tongue is Telugu are learning in Middle English at the pre-primary level, 58.6% at the primary level, 53.1% at the middle school, 49.6% 2% at the secondary level and 74.5% at the upper secondary level.
The survey also showed that the preference for English as a medium of instruction is more frequent in the initial phase of schooling and at the upper secondary level. It says that 90.6% of students whose mother tongue is Tamil are beginning their education at the preschool level with English as the medium of instruction. The preference for English as a medium of instruction at the upper secondary level increases significantly with the exception of students with Bengali as their mother tongue, where only 4.9% attend classes with English as the medium of instruction.
The report on “Social Household Consumption: Education”, published in July, surveyed 1.13 lakh of households in more than 8,000 villages and 6,000 urban blocks between July 2017 and June 2018. It involved 1.52 lakh of students at different levels of study.