Before I start, let me make it clear that this is my first try at blogging. So, चूकभूल द्यावी घ्यावी.
The thought struck hard the other day when I was having dinner with one of my colleagues. When we were discussing our backgrounds, schooling and everything, surprised and proud was he to find out that I belong to a Marathi Medium School and went on to say that only those who have learned in Marathi medium or let’s say mother tongue for that matter have excelled in life. While I was happy to hear it at that instant, it forced me to think upon it further.
I know there would be many research papers available that will quote that efficiency of learning is better when learned in mother tongue and I completely agree with that. The basic assumptions however made during such research was that all the educational institutions, be it an English medium or a Marathi, are same in all aspects. Sadly, I have to state that it is not the case.
I know I can be shot down by throwing n number of examples at me, people who learned in their mother tongue and went on to become highly successful in their lives, still I strongly believe, that more than success, failure stories define any phenomena.
While this write-up is completely based on my personal experiences, and not any systemic study of the issue, I would still go ahead and admit that Marathi schools are not at par with the English ones. Period. हे विधान संपूर्णपणे वास्तविकतेच्या आधारे केले आहे, यात भावना, मातृभाषेचा अभिमान, ई. चा लवलेश नाही. एकदा का सत्य परिस्थिती स्विकारली, त्यानंतरच सुधारणेला वाव मिळतो हा माझा ठाम विश्वास आहे. त्यामुळे मराठी माध्यमाचा मुद्दा आला रे आला की मराठी माध्यम आणि त्याबद्दल वृथा अभिमान अथवा फाजील गर्वभरीत विधाने करण्यास सुरुवात होते. This is simply running away from reality. I feel such issues should be dealt more logically than emotionally.
While I accept that I didn’t have to go through immense struggle in order to be updated with the world, I would attribute that to my upbringing and the social environment where I grew up than actually the school. Even today I see many of my counterparts struggling in their lives, in a world that speaks English, having lost their confidence. And some way or the other, I hold my school responsible for the same. While others were busy with Science Projects, we were learning about Biogas equipment. While others were reading Shakespeare, we were busy writing down शब्दार्थ (Glossary & notes). When I compare several vernacular medium schools to that of Private ones (I agree they are unaffordable to the common man), I see a huge gap. In terms of infrastructure, not walls and classrooms, but the learning infrastructure like books, journals, faculty etc. In terms of extracurricular activities, be it sports, performing arts. In terms of culture on innovation & creativity. In terms of overall personality building.
Let’s face this fact. The world is moving ahead at great pace. If we keep on thinking that we are the best, we’re naturally closing all doors of improvement, which will do nothing but make us fall back in the race. And then I won’t blame the parents, who will work day and night just to have their child admitted in the Private English Medium School. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not here to cuss about Marathi medium schools, in fact, I think that they will be much ahead of the others, only when we address the real issues rather than denying their existence in the first place.
Why do we always need an emotional appeal? Why can’t my own Marathi medium schools be at par in terms of the learning experience as that of other ones? Together, we have to improve them. And then you’ll not feel a need to appeal on the emotional level to the parents to admit their children in Marathi schools. That process shall self-accelerate.
जें जें उत्तम उदात्त उन्नत महन्मधुर तें तें !
DISCLAIMER: Views expressed above are the author’s own.