Mother tongue policy pays: 'Lap lessons' catch students' fancy

2014-04-05

Himalayan News Service

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The government policy of ‘education for all in one’s mother tongue’ seems to have had effect in Banke district. The government schools there are imparting education in Urdu and Arabic languages.

Among the schools running classes in these languages are Nepalgunj-based Anathalaya Gausiya Secondary School (AGSS) and Madarasa Darul Ulum Lower Secondary School (MDULSS) at Barakatiya, the Raniyapur-based Nepal Rastriya Primary School and Himalaya Madarasa Primary School at Rajhena.

 “We started imparting education in these languages after Muslim students got attracted towards madrasa, an institution imparting instruction in religious law,” said Madrasa Garib Nawaz Primary School Principal Mubarak Ali Gujar.

He said there are no difficulties in teaching as most of the students are Muslim. With the schools imparting education in their mother tongue, the enrolment of Muslim students is on the rise.

After government schools started imparting education in Urdu and Arabic languages, madrasas have been merged in government schools. Rajhena-based Madarasa Garib Nawaz was merged in the local Himalaya Primary School.

Gujar said that the school management committee decided to merge the madrasa after students started leaving the school to be admitted to the madrasa. The school has 201 students and runs classes up to the fifth grade.

The AGSS and MDULSS offer holiday on Friday to allow Muslim students and teachers to offer the Muslim sabbath namaz. The schools have also managed a system for offering the sabbath namaz on the school premises.  

“Urdu is compulsory till Grade 8 and a major subject in the secondary level,” said AGSS Principal Tasobar Khan. Established in 1982, the school has more than 750 students including two from the Tharu community.

The school is the only educational institution in the district offering secondary level education in Urdu and Arabic languages.

There are 119 madrasas in the districts. District Education Officer Daman Singh Chaudhary said at least 45 of them are to be merged with government schools. “The move is meant for regulating madrasas,” he said.

(Source: The Kathmandu Post)