• kewal sethi

use of minor languages in education and administration

use of minor languages in education and administration

recently when i met a highly placed official of ministry of education, i talked about use of tribal and minor languages in the context of right to education and NCERT recommendation that 'home' language should be used for imparting education at the elementary stage. I was told that this is not practical. The Right to Education Act says that mother tongue be used for elementary education but adds the rider -where practical. What is practical is decided by the bureaucrats. Is it really impractical?  Bhili in India is spoken by about 50 to 60 lakhs persons, Even its dialects like wagdi and bareli will have a large number of speakers and yet, in the eyes of the bureaucrats and the educationiasts, the use of Bhili is not practical. So much for the Article 350A of the constitution and recommendation of NCERT and many others. Here is information about the Finland's language Inari Sami.  In my study about minor languagess, I came across this excerpt about the  language Inari Sami spoken by just 300 persons.The first book in Inari Sámi was Anar sämi kiela aapis kirje ja doctor Martti Lutherus Ucca katkismus, which was written and translated by Edvard Wilhelm Borg in 1859. The written history of modern Inari Sámi, however, is said to begin with Lauri Arvid Itkonen's translation of the history of the Bible in 1906, although he had already translated some other books into Inari Sámi before that (Martin Luther and John Charles Ryles). After that, Inari Sami was mainly published in books written by linguists, Frans Äimä and Erkki Itkonen, in particular. For many years, very little literature was written in Inari Sami, although Sämitigge has funded and published a lot of books, etc., in recent years. Since 1992, Finland's Sami have had the right to interact with officials in their own language in areas where they have traditionally lived: in Enontekiö, Utsjoki, Inari and the northern part of Sodankylä as official policy favors the conservation of the language. All announcements in Inari, which is the only officially quadrilingual municipality in Finland, must be made in Finnish, North Sami, Inari Sami and Skolt Sami. Only about 10% of the public servants in the area, however, can actually serve the Inari Saami-speaking population in Inari Saami, so Finnish is used by the remaining 90%. In 1986, the Anarâškielâ servi (Inari Sámi Language Association) was founded in order to promote the language and its use. The association also publishes numerous books, textbooks, a calendar, etc., in Inari Sami. They have also established a language immersion program in 1997 for 3-6-year-old children in a day care in Inari and Ivalo. In 2007, the association also started publishing an Inari Sámi newspaper called Kierâš online. A new phenomenon has been the fact that Inari Sami is currently being used in rap songs by Mikkal Morottaja, whose stage name is Amoc. Morottaja has also published the first full-length Inari Sámi rap CD in the world on February 6, 2007 (Sami National Day).

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