Taking cue from the 29 Surat schools which opted for the Global Gujarati Medium of instruction, about 30 Ahmedabad private schools will take the same route of bilingual medium of education.
Currently, English is taught only in private schools as the first language. For schools willing to join in, biligualmedium.in has detailed guidelines.
In 2016, Bhulka Vihar School, a vernacular medium Surat school, took cognisance of the communication gap between children from exclusively vernacular and English schools. “While one section could not converse in English the other did not know their mother tongue. Thereon, we thought it best to adopt this strategy to provide greater possibilities for the children,” stated Mita Vakil, principal, Bhulka Vihar School.
“There is a divide among people. Global Gujarati Medium will prepare the child for the largely English-speaking world while at the same time ensure that our own language is not lost out on. Added, it is also an advantage to know more than one language,” explained Dr Raeesh Maniar, child psychologist associated with the school.
The experimental years yielded results and other schools in Surat soon approached the duo to draft a similar learning curriculum. “Educational psychology supports initial years of education in the mother tongue. At the same time, since kids can pick up languages easily when they are little, English as a second language was introduced. It has also helped make easier the studying of academics in higher grades,” added Dr Maniar. Significantly, resource material on the net or research books are far more easily available in English. Hence, it is a win-win situation for children who are adept in both English and Gujarati.