Sunabeda: A three-day training program on the fundamentals of Kuwi and Desia languages, aimed at empowering primary school teachers, concluded successfully at the Central University of Odisha, Koraput campus on October 11, 2023. The training initiative, a collaborative effort between the Central University of Odisha, Sunabeda, and the Regional Institute of Education (RIE), NCERT Bhubaneswar, proved to be a significant milestone in promoting linguistic diversity and enriching the educational experience for Kuwi and Desia-speaking students in the Koraput district.
The distinguished guests at the program included Professor Chakradhar Tripathi, the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Odisha, Professor P.C. Agarwal, Principal of RIE, NCERT Bhubaneswar, Professor N.C. Panda, Dean of the School of Languages and Registrar I/c of the Central University of Odisha, Koraput. Also present were Lt. Dr. Rasmirekha Sethy, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Kuwi and Desia Language Training Program at RIE, NCERT, Bhubaneswar; Dr. Kapila Khemundu, Associate Professor and local Coordinator of the Kuwi and Desia Language Training Program at CUO, Koraput; and Dr. Rudrani Mohanty, Associate Professor & Co-Coordinator of the training program, alongside nine External Resource Persons (ERPs).
Prof. Tripathi delivered an inspiring address, emphasizing the significance of introducing Kuwi and Desia languages as a medium of instruction at the primary level in the Koraput district. He highlighted the challenges faced by children in this tribal region, where there was previously no educational system using their mother tongue. This initiative is crucial to empowering these children with better education, enabling them to express their thoughts and creativity effectively. It also grants them the freedom of expression, aligning with the principles of our constitution and the National Education Policy. The Vice Chancellor thanked hon’ble Union Education Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan for this visionary step for entrusting NCERT and Central University of Odisha with the responsibility of preparing primers for Kuwi and Desia languages.
Professor P.C. Agarwal, in his address, shed light on the evolving perspectives of education and its role in sustainable national development. He stressed the importance of preserving native languages, as outlined in the National Education Policy 2020, in a message to the program’s participants.
A total of 58 primary school teachers from various blocks in Koraput, including Kendriya Vidyalaya Koraput, DIET Koraput, Saraswati Sisu Vidya Mandira, DAV-CTE, and Government College Koraput actively participated in the training program. Over the three days, they immersed themselves in learning Kuwi and Desia languages, praising the program for its focus on vowels, consonants, sound, pronunciation, and various techniques, such as songs, drama, storytelling, folklore, and dance. These approaches are expected to enhance the teacher-student relationship when using native languages like Kuwi and Desia as a medium of instruction.
This training program symbolizes a significant stride towards embracing linguistic diversity and nurturing the educational journey of Kuwi and Desia-speaking students in the region.