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Mother tongue learning helps kids to stay in school
Posted on February 21, 2020 under News
Today we celebrate International Mother Language Day. Did you know there are around 125 languages spoken in Nepal? For many, Nepali is a second language, so when some children start school they can easily be confused, not understand, lack confidence and want to drop out. This is partly because their classes are in another language – Nepali – and also because they may not be comfortable or engaged.
UMN started Multi-Lingual Education (MLE) over a decade ago. In recent years we've supported around 700 Kham Magar speaking students of Grades 1 to 3 using this approach in Rukum, after training teachers in MLE and child-friendly learning, developing multi-lingual textbooks and orienting the school, parents and community in the importance of MLE. With these changes, students in early grades have started to learn easily, attend regularly, gain confidence and language skills and increase their achievement.
It's not just in Rukum - we're now developing multi-lingual textbooks in the Bhote and Karkat languages in Mugu. And adults who may have struggled at school due to the language barrier have gained a second chance - adult literacy classes in Mugu have helped those with Nepali as a second language to recognise alphabets, read basic words and write their name.
You can watch a video about our multi-lingual education here below.