Translation of knowledge into regional languages important for development: Prof. Shukla

Shillong, April 24: The North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, a premier university in the north-eastern region is working on translating the literature, courses of studies, books and study materials into the regional languages of the state which is also one of the major goals and directive of the New Education Policy 2020.

The NEP 2020 (NEP 2020) states that wherever possible, the medium of instruction must in the mother tongue or local languages. This must be done until at least class 5, but preferably till class VIII, speaking on the idea of translating the study materials and books for students into regional languages of Meghalaya.

Prof. Shukla, the Vice- Chancellor of the University said that “Studying in the native language results in higher attendance, motivation and increased confidence for speaking up among students and improved parental involvement and support in studies due to familiarity with the mother tongue.”

He further added that “NEP 2020 clearly states that there is no imposition of any language. That is a great paradigm shift in language teaching. The other paradigm shift is mother tongue primary and higher education should be through mother tongue, along with three options which are regional language or local language or home language. These choices are also given.”

In accordance with the directive of the Ministry of Education, Govt. of India, the North-Eastern Hill University also aims at translating the existing knowledge into regional languages.

The University is also planning to translate to the work of the people of the state of Meghalaya into national and international languages which will be achievement in way that the knowledge the people of Meghalaya possess will be spread to the rest of the world.

Speaking about the knowledge of the people of state of Meghalaya, the Vice-Chancellor exhorted on the point that it is high time that the knowledge and work of the local people be spread to the entire world. In the one and a half year I have worked as the Vice-Chancellor of NEHU, I have communicated and met many people whose knowledge astonishes me.

Be it the people of War region who have built the living root bridges, the natural wells and dams for harvesting rainwater, the craftsmen and weavers who make intricate baskets, handicrafts and beautiful dresses from locally available materials to the farmers who have cultivate with the knowledge passed to them through generations.

The traditional healers who heal and cure through traditional medicines using the medicinal plants available in the region. All these knowledge needs to be disseminated to the rest of the country and the world. This can be achieved only when their work is recorded. Hence, the translation of their work is very much needed.

The Vice-Chancellor also pressed on the point that Meghalaya is a state where hundreds of dialects are spoken and as such when a child enters the school, he has to directly start English which becomes a difficulty for the young kids resulting in many drop outs or lack of knowledge.

To promote the proper and wider dissemination of knowledge, translation of the books and study materials is required, which will help the students to not drop out of studies and encourage them to go for higher studies.

Prof. Shukla exhorted that language should not be a barrier in acquiring knowledge. Citing example of the Latin America and most of European nations, Prof. Shukla said that the medium of imparting education in those countries is not necessarily English.

To achieve the goal of translating the existing texts into local languages like Khasi and Garo and to record or translate the work of local people into national, international languages, the Vice-Chancellor has requested the teachers of the University to take the responsibility as much as possible.

Furthermore, the in order to expedite the process of translation, the Vice-Chancellor has also involved the faculties and research scholars in designing apps and technologies so as to help the translators to speed up the work.

The Vice-Chancellor also invites retired academicians, historians, scientists, social scientists, technologists, and people from civil society to contribute in the translation work.

He also mentioned that anyone who is interested in serving the state and its people by translating different works are always welcome to visit him in his office at any time so that both the University and the society can work together hand in hand in the development and growth of the state and the country as a whole.


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