Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Mising language in primary schools: But when?

The chief minister of Assam has announced that government is trying to introduce Mising, Rabha and Tiwa languages as medium of teaching in pre-prmary and primary level on May 30, 2023 in the closing ceremony of Golden Jubilee celebration cum 24th Triennial Conference of the Mising Agom Kébang held in Gogamukh, the headquarters of the Misings Autonomous Council, Assam.
The education minister ,  Mising nationalist turned national political  party politician , Ranoj Pegu tweeted   several pictures of Mising textbooks meant for the students at the pre-primary and primary schools that were shared again by his followers among Mising social media groups, reflecting a jubilant mood among Mising language enthusiasts. Nonetheless, the efforts of the Mising Agom Kébang and the state govt run State Council of Educational Research and Training ( SCERT ) must be appreciated in its efforts to materialized the books  after years of prayers, persuasion and movement.
Mising language will get a face-lift if implemented,  from being only one textbook  in Class III and IV to all textbooks in the primary level thanks to the National Education Policy (NEP)  recommendations. However, public policy needs time to materialize as it would need a strong political will to implement practically on the ground.

The academic session in the schools are already underway. Government should have made it clear from which academic session the Mising medium is aimed to be introduced practically.  As it would be a radical  change in imparting primary education to the citizens of tomorrow , the herculean task of  human resource management and financial resources  are involved in it. 

If we turn the pages of history of introduction of Mising language, the regional party, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) was the first political party to recognised and introduced the Mising language in 1986-87 when it came to power after the Assam agitation that ended with the Assam Accord.  The regional party  accommodated the linguistic aspirations of the Misings albeit to a little extent. The AGP had considerable support base in Mising inhabited areas during those times. Currently, AGP is a coalition partner of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government. The BJP has four legislators from the Mising tribe out of the five Mising legislators. The BJP has drawn its leaders from the Mising nationalist organisations that has a stable and loyal support base across Mising areas. 
In this backdrop, the onus of implementation of Mising language in primary schools lies with national political party. The ethnic aspirations of having a Mising medium schools is a long-standing one. We have to see whether the BJP follow the foot steps of AGP despite having  the NEP in its hand or delay the dream.

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