Guwahati News Desk: Assam and the North East will present many challenges in achieving the goals envisioned in the National Education Policy, one of them being the ethnic diversity of the region, according to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The Chief Minister today addressed the North East Education Conclave in the presence of Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. “We have bigger challenges…children have a right to get education in their mother tongue at least up to Class 5. It is a very easy concept when we are in Lucknow or Delhi…everybody knows hindi…” the minister explained.
But when it comes to a diverse region like the North East with 180 languages, it is a challenge, he added.
States will have to recruit teachers who can teach in these languages and prepare textbooks every year, he said.
People are sensitive about their languages, the minister said. Citing the example of Assam, Mr Sarma said the state prepares textbooks in four languages and mix-up of these books or errors in content is not well received.
“Even a minor human error is not appreciated,” Mr Sarma said.
Implementation of National Education Policy is a huge challenge in Assam with multiethnic societies compared to the bigger states with one language, he explained.
“Although in Assam we speak Assamese, everybody knows Assamese…when we say that children have the right to be taught in their mother tongue, this is a different ball game altogether.”
The same goes for Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and other states as they do not have a single mother language, the Assam Chief Minister said.
The role of the central government is very important in achieving the goals of the policy in the North East. Central and state governments will have to work closely in developing the NEP implementation framework for the region, the minister said.
This will ensure that the North Eastern states do not lag behind in implementing the policy. “We know we need to implement this policy for the future of the country,” Mr Sarma added.