Orissa to Develop Bilingual Primers in Tribal Dialects for Children

The Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) will develop bilingual primers in 10 tribal dialects for children from Class I to Class III with an aim to ensure equity in educational opportunities for tribal children.

The primers will cover all schools having 100 percent monolingual tribal students.The bilingual primers are being developed in 10 major tribal languages – Munda, Santhali, Kissan, Oraon, Kuvi, Saura, Koya, Bonda, Juanga and Saura.

The state government has also identified nine new tribal languages – Gutob, Ho, Gondi, Parja, Khaira, Didayita, Chhatisgarhi Odia, Binjhal (western Odisha) and Binjhal (Bargarh region) – for inclusion in the multi-lingual education programme. Eventually, primers will also be developed in theses languages.

“The work on the preparation of primers in all theses languages have started and are now in the final stage. In a high-level meeting, the chief secretary directed OPEPA authorities to expedite the process of printing of primers and training teachers to use them efficiently,” sources said.

As of now, 544 primary schools – including 135 in Mayurbhanj district, 37 in Samabalpur district, 67 in Sundargarh, 95 in Rayagada, 60 in Malkangiri, 30 in Keonjhar, 60 in Kandhamal and 60 in Gajpati district -have been identified for launch of the multilingual learning programme. The sources added that there are about 3,400 schools that have 100 percent monolingual tribal students.