Preference for mother tongue

Allow me to express my deep concern in regards to the value and emphasis given by many parents and students to the learning of their mother tongue especially Hindi and navosavakaviti.

I remember the words of Professor Paul Geraghty some weeks back who highlighted the need for compulsory vernacular at least up to Year 6 and the introduction of English after that for a good grasp of both languages.

Unfortunately, we are so grappled with technological advancements that we prefer English than vernacular on a daily basis.. Everything is offloaded in English….our second language.

While English is considered as international language spoken throughout the globe, we just cannot watch our mother tongue fading and disappearing forever. I believe the number of people and students really involved in the teaching and learning of Hindi is declining at an alarming rate as the English language is playing a more dominant role.

I believe some serious research and approach must be undertaken so that we don’t regret in the future if our mother tongue becomes invisible completely.

All stakeholders have critical roles to play so that we maintain some consistency as far as our spoken and written modes go. I believe children must be exposed to vernacular in homes and parents are encouraged to teach basics instead of overdependence on teachers in schools.

Special emphasis and recognition must also be given to students who venture into indigenous language studies.

I believe the University of Fiji in Saweni, Lautoka has been offering these courses since its inception.

We should be proud of our mother tongue because that is where our true identity lies. People should not be shy to speak their mother tongue. There must be a stronger and a more fervent approach towards the learning of our mother tongue.

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