BeyondHeadlines News Desk
RANCHI (Jharkhand) : Contrary to the general belief, only 4% of the rural population in Jharkhand speaks Hindi at home. Mother tongue of over 96% of the rural population in the State is tribal or regional language. One third (33%) speak Santhali at home, followed by Khortha – 17.5%, Kurukh – 9.5%, Nagpuri – 8.2%, Mundari – 7.6%, Sadri – 6.7% and Ho – 5.6%. Other languages spoken include Bangla (2%), Magahi (1.6%) and Oraon (1.1%). Over 19 major mother tongues are spoken by people in rural Jharkhand.
This information was revealed in the study on Linguistic diversity in the state, conducted by the Jharkhand Tribal Welfare Research Institute with UNICEF support. The study covered 216 villages in 72 blocks in all 24 districts in the State in 2012.
As per the study, there is a wide gap between home and school language. Over 97% of the children speak tribal or regional language at home, but 92% of the teachers use Hindi to interact with students in schools. Over 90% of the teachers indicated that they can speak tribal or regional language of that area.
Almost all (97%) of the children surveyed said that the text books in schools are in Hindi. Over 78% of the teachers felt that children faced problems in learning because of the language gap of home and school.
Although 96% of the rural people speak tribal or regional languages at home, most of them (90%) can speak Hindi. About half of them (50%) say that they make mistake while communicating in Hindi. The popular language of people in haat-bazar (local markets) is regional or tribal language (67%), but one-third (33%) of the respondents use Hindi in market places.
The study recommends that the medium of instruction in anganwadi pre-school centres and primary classes in schools should be in the mother-tongue of children, which is tribal or regional language. The study suggests that material in tribal and regional language should be developed and used in classrooms to bridge gap between the home language and school language. Besides, teachers should be oriented to understand and respect local resources and culture, as well as to communicate with children in local language.
The study will be released in a special function at the Tribal Welfare Research Institute today. Mr. L. Khiangte, Principal Secretary, Department of Welfare, Mr. Kumar Sharma, Tribal Welfare Commissioner cum Director, JTWRI and Mr. Job Zachariah, Chief, UNICEF Jharkhand will be present.