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Chhattisgarh's Initiative to Introduce Primary Education in 18 Local Dialects

IIT Aspirants: Beyond Placement Packages

Chhattisgarh introduces primary education in 18 local dialects for tribal areas, aligning with
NEP 2020, and enhancing cultural and educational accessibility.

Taking a step toward inclusiveness and cultural preservation, the Chhattisgarh government
has announced that primary education will be introduced in 18 local dialects for its tribal
areas. The coterminous policy with the 2020 NEP envisions making education more
accessible and effective with native languages, upholding that including native languages in
the syllabus will help in better learning and greater sustenance of cultural ties through the
mother-tongue-based education approach.

Socio-Cultural and Educational Impact
The step taken under the leadership of Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai is an endeavor to
bridge the education gap that is prevalent among tribal classes. Since it proposes to teach
children in their mother tongue, this initiative will have better comprehension and retention of
concepts, thus leading to more practical education. The introduction of local dialects such as
Chhattisgarhi, Sargujiha, Halbi, Sadari, Gondi, and Kudukh not only assures an easy
understanding but also helps in building cultural identities.
On July 5 during the 'Shala Pravesh Utsav', CM Sai emphasized this by declaring that
textbooks and teaching material would also be translated into local dialects. This would
certainly be a step towards making learning more participative and inclusive for those tribal
children who often find mainstream languages a big barrier to education.
Community Involvement and Resource Development
How far the project will succeed now depends on many factors, but at least School Education
Secretary Siddharth Komal Pardeshi let the cat out of the bag when he promised where "work was
already on in developing bilingual books with the help of local litterateurs, folk artists, and
compilers". That seems to be a community-driven exercise and, therefore, hopefully, will stick to
facts and also excite the right chords.
Senior citizens and teachers will play a very important role in this project for linguistic and
cultural inputs. This sort of engagement gives tribal communities a sense of ownership and
pride, making them active participants in the educative journey. Further, teachers will be
given special training to teach in these dialects so that delivery is as good as the content.

Alignment with NEP 2020
NEP 2020 has emphasized a three-language formula in which having two Indian native
languages—one regional—and English is compulsory. What Chhattisgarh is doing is an
implementation of this very policy at the state level, translating into the realization of a larger
picture of the linguistic pluralism envisioned for the country. In doing so, the state aligns,
besides, its moves in line with national guidelines while addressing the peculiarities specific
to its tribal population.
Historical Context and Future Prospects
This move comes in the light of a similar announcement made in January 2020 by the then
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, showing the sustained commitment on a part to reform the
sector of education. It is this continued emphasis on mother tongue instruction that tests the
ways for the long-drawn upliftment of scheduled tribe communities through education.
The potential, of this program, is immense. According to Mr. Dinesh Sharma, Principal, of
High School Bagia, "It can literally change the entire scope of educational achievement
among the tribals, pave the way for further education among the children, and thereby break
the cycle of poverty and marginalization of the communities".
While this is a commendable initiative, it simultaneously has its set of challenges. It takes
innumerable resources and great coordination to develop such a comprehensive curriculum in
multiple dialects. Another issue is handling with the right kind of care to ensure that quality
educational materials are the same across multiple languages.
However, training teachers to be effective in these dialects and proficient in their pedagogical
methods will have to be a continuous and well-supported exercise in professional
development. There may also be resistance on the part of those who believe that such a
change will go against the mainstream educational ideology.

Chhattisgarh's step in introducing primary education in 18 local languages is a forward move in terms of education for all. The state is therefore moving one step closer to creating an
equitable educational scenario through learning with the NEP 2020 and engaging the
community in resource development. This treasured initiative will not only find tribal
children in terms of learning outcomes but also preserve and promote the cultural richness of
the region. As our program is rolled out, it will serve as a prototype to be emulated by other
states and show the great impact of culturally responsive educative ways on marginalized

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