Medium of Instruction in the Schools of Assam: a Dilemma between Self identity and Unification

Amar Upadhyaya

  • Download PDF
  • DOI Number

Medium of Instruction, School, Assam, Self identity, Unificat


Education is always considered as a medium of social transformation. Education transmits the cultural and social identity of an individual or group of individuals from one generation to another generation. In broad sense education is the sum total of knowledge of society. During the present era the formal education has a crucial role to be played in transforming the existing knowledge and exploring the new knowledge in the human society. The formal system which is also called school system is highly responsible in this context. Now the question is if the demographic distribution of a particular region is highly uneven and each demographic group wants to sponsor their own language as medium of instruction, what would be the best solution. How does the governing system accommodate it? This paper highlights the same scenario in the school system of Assam, which is culturally and demographically diverse state of North East India. As Assam is a Tribal dominated state, the new generation of tribal segments is mostly the first generation learners. The greater Assamese society covers the sub communities like Tie- Ahom, Tie- Phake, Bodo, Missing, Karbi, Rabha, Tiwa, Konch, Sonowal, Kachari, Kalita, Dimasa, Tea Tribes, Gorkhas, Maran, Mattak, Khamti, Koibatra, Bengali and many more. Most of these communities have their own language or dialect and cultural traditions. Now the critical aspect is whether these communities get educated through Assamese language as medium of instruction or their own language as medium of instruction. This brings the dilemma between self identity and unification. Again the growth of English medium schools in Assam has shown another dimension of the aspect.

URL http://dspace.chitkara.edu.in/jspui/bitstream/1/905/2/52007_IIE_Amar%20Upadhyaya.pdf
DOI https://doi.org/10.15415/iie.2017.52007
  • Azu, T, Impact of Multilingualism and Multiculturalism on English Language Education: The Case of Arunachal Pradesh, India, Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, ISSN 2039-9340, MCSER Publishing, Rome-Italy, 4 No 11, October 2013, 66. Doi:10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n11p665.
  • Gazetteer of India, Assam State, Vol. 1, edited by Mr. Amlan Barua & Smt. S.B. Roy Choudhury, Published by Government of Assam, 1999, Page 1.
  • Kadel, P, Mother tongue based multilingual education, Puskar Kadel Program, Director in language development centre, Nepal, Kathmandu, 9 December 2010.
  • Khan, T. Md. Education in Mother tongue a children’s right, international journal of humanities and management sciences, 2(4), pp. 148–155, 2014
  • Kumar, K., The Child’s Language and the Teacher, National Book Trust, 1986.
  • Report of the Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy (National Policy on Education 2016), Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, 30/04/2016
  • Singh, P, The challenges of mother tongue education in primary education in Assam (India), 4th International Language and Education Conference, Bangkok, 6-8 November, 2013.
  • tatus of Elementary Education in the states of Assam, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Odisha and Tripura With special reference to The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009, Pratichi Institute, in association with UNICEF Kolkata 2013, Pratichi Institute, Pratichi (India) Trust Website: www.pratichi.org.
  • Upadhyaya, A, Is Dropout exists at Lower Elementary Level of Government Schools? A Study of Assam, Published in Asian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities (A Journal Indexed in Indian Citation Index) ISSN: 2249-7315, Volume-6, Issue-3, March 2016, Page No. 77–85. (DOI NUMBER-10.5958/2249-7315.2016.00030.7).
  • Vol. 2: School Education, Education and National Development Report of the Education Commission, 1964-66,Published by National Council Of Educational Research And Training, 1970, New Delhi 16.