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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    How long do we stick to "Baaba black sheep"?

    The craze for English medium education is fine among parents. It is welcome that even lower-middle-class parents somehow earn some extra money to place their children in some English medium school nearby, hoping that one day, their child will also be very competitive in his or her career.

    However, it is a sad fact of life that we have taken this to the other extreme. We routinely find children singing the "Baaba black sheep" rhyme to anyone who is interested. That is, to any visitor.

    The children run the risk of being isolated from the deep cultural roots of their respective mother tongue, be that Tamil or Hindi or Telugu or whatever. There should not be any compromise on this.

    There are simple prayers in the form of songs in each language. The small children, as young as just five years, should be taught all this. In addition, when the children grow up, they should know everything about their own religion and also know about saints from other religions.

    The habit and attitude formation in children, before the age of five, is almost complete. The mind-sets become sort of established. It is also very strange to find children of rich families boasting about their command over the English language to children of servant maids, electricians and so on. This is just horrible. They should be taught the spirit of tolerance only at such an age.

    How can we do something in this direction?
  • #654231
    It depends on the way you look at it. Schools don't take up teaching rhymes in the mother tongue. Even the school I studied in, SSC one, there were atleast 20 in my class who's mother tongue was not Telugu. I think teaching rhymes in mother tongue will have a disadvantage in that way. Moreover what are parents doing? My mom taught me to chant hymns when I was 3. That helped me a lot. Because of those Sanskrit hymns I could do good in Hindi later. And thanks to my mother tongue being Tamil I learnt Telugu in a year. It's the duty of parents to look after rhymes and pieces in mother tongue. They are English medium schools and they put English before anything.

    My school already implemented what you suggested. We would sing traditional Hindu hymns and some Telugu quotes/poems. Then we would have our English school prayer. "Asathoma Sadhgamaya", would be a Buddhist poem. We did chant Islamic suras on Fridays though spelling them was a very difficult task. And we praised the Lord when we had time. Our school assembly made sure that no one felt left out. I still remember some 25 so hymns from school.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #654235
    Even in English medium schools also they teach other languages also. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, we have three languages formula. So every student will study three languages up to tenth class. Hindi, English and Telugu, Hindi. English and Urdu. Hindi, English and Sanskrit, so on and so forth. They teach rhymes in all the three languages.
    So they sing 'Baba Baba Black sheep' and also 'Suklam Bharadharam Vishnum'. And as rightly pointed out by Adithya, we all should take care of our children in the house. We should teach them the culture, ethics and other spiritual beliefs our family is having. Then they will know the importance of the mother tongue and other cultural aspects and they will try to follow that. So here the role of the parents is very important and they should make their children the way they want.

    always confident

  • #654275
    This problem has been well discussed in various forums. English medium is indirectly affecting the child's attachment to his/her society. There are several things a child has to learn from the society where he is born and is growing. When a child learns "Ba ba black sheep....", the child would not have even seen a black sheep. At the same time if he is taught "kaakke, kaakke kootevide, koottinakatthoru kunjundo.." (where is your house, crow ; Is there a child inside the nest....). If this is taught instead, each and every child will easily understand the concept, because each child has seen a crow outside his house.

  • #654293
    The importance of our regional languages has not been overlooked by the Public - schools since they attach importance to other languages as well. While studying g in St. Xavier's in my childhood days way back in 1955, the school introduced a formulae of teaching in Sanskrit, English, German and Hindi but for the purpose of examination, one had to choose one regional language apart from English.
    This institute even took care of the children of the unprivileged classes by imparting them free education in a separate section in Hindi - medium so that they could acquire the basic education without burdening their parents. No doubt the missionary schools are doing their selfless jobs in spreading education to the needy. On Sundays there was the scheme of free consultation of the Doctors to look after the ailing children and the essential medicines were provided to them free of cost.
    We could learn many popular rhymes in English apart from popular rhymes like Jadi tor Dak sune keo na ase tabe Alka Chala re - Bande Mataram etc so that we could appreciate the importance of our own culture.

  • #654323
    My kids have gone through this phase. I remember in their school they are asked to be more focused on English rather than another language but they teach Hindi and Sanskrit too and they have both the subjects as their course.

    In today's competitive world when everywhere English is more used than any other language then why should not they concentrate more on it. But that's wrong they don't know about their own culture. It should not be that in learning English they don't learn about our own history, tradition which is important to learn.

    Today even not only English other foreign languages are also taught so that kids are made competitive.


    " It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not" ... Andre Gide

  • #654341
    There is no harm in learning 'Ba ba black sheep'. The problem lies in our mindset. The parents and the guardians must take care of it. We have to nurture our kids according to the global requirement, so English medium school is fine. Back home we need to be taught about our root.

    I am a product of Missionary school but very much attached to my root. Thanks to my parents as well as the rest of the family. In school, I studied Hindi, English and Sanskrit. I am Bengali, and at home, I took Bengali lessons and learnt it.

    Knowing English is helpful in many ways. Take for example in ISC, most of us come from different backgrounds. It is our knowledge of English which has given us a platform to share our opinions, have a debate and even earn some money.

    I firmly believe that family has a greater role than school in keeping children connected to their roots.


  • #654348
    The British culture has been so much deep rooted within us that it is almost impossible for us to disassociate from it. I am saying that so because the education system has been carried forwarded from the previous generations to us & this is even without much changes in the curriculum. This is good to remind us of the fact that during the British times the education system had been arranged in such a away that we almost lost of our original heritage that we began to disbelieve the greatness of our past. After independence the aftermath governments didn't feel important to do the necessary changes & we are evident of the same now & the same ahs been depicted by the author too. This is mainly due to the reason that the previously elected governments didn't work to rebuild the lost heritages but were quietly busy in the appeasement politics & were not working towards to the betterment of the education system which in the aftermath created a mentality of some kind of negativity within each one of us.

  • #654371
    This topic is very interesting and of course, at the right phase of my life,I come across this discussion. My kid are below 5 years old and we reside in USA. Obviously, learning mother tongue from school is impossible.

    As I strongly believe that the language is the root you culture, I made sure that my kids are capable of communicating in mother tongue with no difficulty. Even before joining them in school, I teach them Tamil alphabets.

    Even at their TV time, I add tamil rhymes to their playlist.To my surprise, there are awesome tamil rhymes collection in YouTube
    Kannan rhymes,Thirukural stories,Athichudi stories and many more. To be honest I learnt more from watching them.

    Coming to the serious note, there are some schools following montessori teaching, ICSE etc do not teach any regional language before 1St Standard. Many of us aware that kids language skill and learning ability is higher till 7 years of age. If one's mother tongue language is not taught during this phase of life, then their language and cultural growth may seriously get affected.

    Fromy observation, I notices that some play schools couldn't bring in regional language into their curriculum because of franchisee model. But school management should seriously consider this psychological amd scientific fact of kids' learning phase and include regional language.

    Due to various reasons, all our mother tongue language and regional language may not be the same. So, parents role in kids early education is higher than play schools.

    However I feel happy for my kids communicating in a foreign language, Many times,I felt pricked to explain my kids the meaning of some Tamil words in English
    They are hurtful moments to me.

    Sri Vetri
    Spread Positivism

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