Manas Ranjan Mahapatra, Puri, 22 January 2023
A culturally inclusive classroom is one where students and staff alike recognize, appreciate and capitalize on diversity so as to enrich the overall learning experience. Fostering a culturally inclusive learning environment encourages all individuals – regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation, socio-economic status, sexual orientation or political beliefs – to develop personal contacts and effective inter-cultural skills.
In a diverse environment where students of different cultural backgrounds are present, teaching can become challenging as all students may not be equal receptors of educational content. Culturally inclusive teaching links the content with students’ cultures. As a teacher, start by knowing your students, their cultural background, and a brief information of their culture. Then try to link your study content with their culture through examples and exercise. This way they learn better.
No language in India is inferior to the other. All Indian languages originated from Sanskrit and are classical in nature. All the Indian languages are at least 1500 years old.
Invariably, each Indian language should be financially supported and promoted as a Classical Language without any political bias.
Language and Literature are the basic essence of Indian culture. Literature should show a bright future for humanity. As felt by Ruskin Bond, an eminent Indian English author of the twentieth century, “I can’t really look into the future and I can’t even be certain that I would even have a legacy. So many writers are forgotten. Sometimes even good writers. And sometimes, as writers we don’t expect to be remembered but continue to have a sense of existence. I have mostly written to please myself and the few who enjoy my writing. If people continue to read my books in the years to come, that’s fine. And if they don’t, that’s fine too. It’s not really in our hands!”
But creativity is no more a natural extension of our enthusiasm as it has become state controlled! That is the most painful part of our socio-political and cultural existence today.
Many of our language champions don’t know that most of our tribal languages are older than our so called Indian classical languages. I have extensively traveled the whole country to discover this truth. Massive urbanisation with fanatic political, religious patronage has killed most of our tribal languages in the last few years along with the simplicity of our tribal culture.
In the recent period, science has improved to such an extent that you can decide your own space. But our authors are not moving out of their limited space.
Why is there a huge gap between CBSE and State Boards so far as syllabus or type of texts available are concerned? Even language proficiency is a matter of concern. Examinations like NEET and JEE are conforming to CBSE standards. India is a country with over 80% students from non-CBSE schools who belong to rural or semi urban background. Why cannot the question pattern and language of the examination conform to this reality? Don’t we want our doctors and engineers to address the real requirements of the country? A serious rethink is imperative!