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Mother tongue and curricula

January 01, 2013

THIS is in response to some letters that appeared in newspapers in support of the mother tongue as a medium of instruction. It is really disappointing that advocates of this idea forget some hard facts.

First, are regional languages developed to a level that a complete and comprehensive curriculum could be created out of such languages?

Second, up to which level will the students who opt for mother tongue study in their mother tongue?

Third, will these languages be able to support their studies in the local or higher education in universities?

According to a survey, out of 65 languages spoken in Pakistan, 27 are already on the verge of extinction. Languages become extinct during the natural process of evolution.

All such weak languages which fail to keep pace with the more vibrant and rich languages just fade away into history.

Urdu’s strength in surviving and prospering lies in its ability to absorb and adopt words from other languages.

It has acquired the present status by passing through a natural evolutionary process.

This is the reason that Urdu is spoken, understood, written and taught easily in every part of not only in Pakistan but in the Indian parts of eastern Punjab, central India, Hyderabad, and Bihar.

It will be interesting for some people to know that Urdu is the ‘second official language’ in the Indian province of Bihar.

However, I agree with the idea that English teaching should start at least at the primary level.

ABID MAHMUD ANSARI Islamabad