Everyone agrees that all children have rights and should have access to quality education in a language they speak and understand. But, how can it be possible when education is delivered in a language that some children neither speak nor understand? This is the situation faced by many children from multi-ethnic, multicultural and multilingual collection when they enter the formal school system.

Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTBMLE) aims to develop appropriate cognitive and reasoning skills enabling children to operate equally in different languages; starting in the mother tongue with transition. MTBMLE facilitates the learning of the 2nd and 3rd languages and that MLE is gradually integrated in all subject areas. Building a strong L1 foundation, the student is then bridged to his/her second language/s (L2) by providing a strong training in his/her L2 listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. This gradual integration of MLE is a feature of the program after the pupils have gained firm grasp of their home language. MTBMLE is a well-established strategy to address language gaps at early learning.

The MTBMLE programme is sustained within the formal education system in KISS, the pioneering Centre of Excellence on mother tongue based early childhood education in the state of Odisha, in collaboration with Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF) from 2013. Children at early learning stage are facilitated education through (MTBMLE) approach introducing: Transition Curriculum-an innovative pedagogic initiative, teaching and learning tools in 10 tribal dialects. This program not only aims to improve the quality education, but also to make holistic mainstream education more accessible to young tribal children getting enrolled in KISS.

The good news is that MTBMLE works! The teachers, parents, students and government of Odisha have recognized the benefits of strong MTBMLE programmes in KISS.

“RETAIN YOUR DIALECT AND CONNECT TO YOUR HERITAGE

LEARN ODIA AND CONNECT TO YOUR STATE

LEARN HINDI AND CONNECT TO YOUR COUNTRY

LEARN ENGLISH WELL AND CONNECT TO THE WORLD”