PESHAWAR: Speakers at a function here urged government to speed up work on implementation of mother tongues curriculum policy approved by the then provincial assembly in 2012.

The event was held under the auspices of culture directorate and Islamia College University at Khyber Union Hall here on Thursday to in connection with mother tongue day. A walk was also arranged on the occasion.

The participants through a resolution asked the provincial government to allocate funds for enforcing the curriculum policy of imparting education in five major languages including Pashto, Hindko, Saraiki, Khowar and Kohistani being spoken in the province. They said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was home to more than 20 languages that needed to be persevered and promoted through literary and cultural events.

A large number of students, teachers, literati, researchers, rights activists and language experts attended the function.

Speakers say no nation can make progress without imparting education to children in mother tongue

Speakers highlighted importance of mother tongue and stressed the need for preservation of indigenous languages as identity markers and symbol of cultural diversity.

They said that according to one of the recommendations of a British Council Report 2012, based on a case study in KP as well as consultations and policy dialogues at national level, many people were strongly attached to their languages and wished to educate their children through those languages.

The participants said that no nation could make substantive progress in any field if education was not imparted to its children in mother tongue. They said that creative faculties of children could be triggered in positive direction if they were educated in mother tongue.

Senior writer Saadullah Jan Barq, who was chief guest on the occasion, said that it was regrettable that KP education policymakers were still unable to understand the significance of imparting education to children in mother tongue.

He said that the entire world had agreed on giving primary education to children in their mother tongues as they could best learn and exploit their capabilities only in the language they were exposed to in an environment.

Shama Naimat, the culture director, said that her department was trying to keep alive all languages as they were windows to distinct cultural diversities and different communities.

“Poets, writers, intellectuals and cultural activists should come forward to suggest new ideas for promotion and preservation of languages,” she said.

Prof Abaseen Yousafzai said that he was part of the curriculum preparation team in 2012. He added that relevant contents for Pashto syllabus to be taught from grade one to intermediate level had been completed and books for first grade had also been published but no improvement had been made so far on preparation of curriculum of other four languages.

Noted writers including Prof Aseer Mangal, Prof Sabeeh Ahmad, Prof Noorul Amin Yousafzai, Hasina Gul, Mehraban Elahi and Farooq Jan Babar Azad also addressed the event.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2020

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