Published: 23rd April 2021
TNIE Let's Debate: Should students learn in their mother tongue till Class 5?
Students at the largest inter-school virtual debate competition argued whether learning in their mother tongue helps preserve culture
Ever since the new National Education Policy announced that schools should instruct their students in their mother tongue till Class 5, it has sparked much debate and discussion. This was exactly why students were asked whether learning in their mother tongue up to Class 5 helps preserve culture.
The students were debating whether they should learn in their mother tongue till Class 5 at The New Indian Express' virtual inter-school debate competition, Let's Debate that streamed live on April 19. The largest inter-school virtual debate competition was held in association with Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science, MEIL and Linc Pens. The judges for the debate were English and Foreign Languages University professor Jibu Mathew George and Jonathan Ananda, Principal Correspondent, The New Indian Express.
Speaking for the motion, Ryan Majumder, a student from JSS Public School, Bengaluru was awarded the Finest Point. He said, "Children with a strong foundation in their first language often display a deeper understanding of themselves and their place within the society. Naturally, this flows into every aspect of their lives, including academic achievement. This is why bilingual education systems are growing in popularity across the world and they are setting up strong mother tongue programmes."
Yuvraj Singh Pundir from St George's College, Mussourie won the Counter-Strike prize for best rebuttal. Commenting on a statement that English is easier to learn, Yuvraj said, "It is very subjective. Growing up, I was more comfortable speaking in Hindi because that was the language spoken at home," he said. Nandini H Popat from PSBB Millennium School, Coimbatore also won the Lighter Side award for being the most entertaining debater.
Professor George advised the students on the art of good oration and the importance of public speaking. "These days it is said that the level of public discourse is falling but commendably all of you spoke with the utmost decorum. I am impressed by the ideas that you shared and they made me nostalgic. Public speaking is a key factor in creating change. In a good piece of oration, every word should strike a chord with the audience, it should avoid cliches, truisms and platitudes," he said.
Jonathan said, "An ideal persuasive argument should have logic, ethics and emotions in equal measure. The current public discourse has a disproportionate leaning towards emotions. But in this discussion, all three versions of a good idea were present."
Finest point: Ryan Majumder, JSS Public School, Bengaluru
Counter-Strike: Yuvraj Singh Pundir, St George's College, Mussourie
Lighter Side: Nandini H Popat, PSBB Millennium School, Coimbatore