Introduction of tribal languages in schools, a step forward to save dying languages

In what could be termed a major step toward saving the dying indigenous tribal languages, the education department has started orientation training of teachers for the introduction of tribal languages as third language in the schools.

The first batch of training for the teachers of the Nyishi language has started. Besides Nyishi, orientation programmes will also be held for the teachers of Galo, Tagin, Wancho, Tangsa, Idu, Kaman, and Taraon languages. The local languages/scripts will be taught as third languages in the schools for students of classes 6 to 8. Even though this should have been done a long time ago but nevertheless a beginning has been made.

UNESCO has listed the majority of tribal languages as endangered. One of the main reasons for the gradual death of a tribal language is the lack of proper script. Due to this, it was not taught in school.

As Arunachal follows the CBSE pattern, the medium of education is Hindi and English. Also the lingua franca is Arunachalee Hindi, a pidgin. This all has contributed to the slow death of the unique tribal languages. Hopefully, the introduction of tribal languages in the schools will play an important role in saving them. For now, it is going to be taught from classes 6 to 8. However, effort should be made to teach them tribal languages right from the primary level. It will be more impactful. The government should explore the possibilities in this regard.

Also, a separate recruitment process should be initiated for the recruitment of tribal language teachers.