Monday, February 20, 2012

Mother Language Day 2012

Nelson Mandela once said that "if you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart". Thus, Irina Bokova, Director-General of Unesco, begins her message (links to PDFs in the official languages of the UN) for this year's International Mother Language Day (IMLD), celebrated on 21 February every year.

The theme for IMLD 2012 is "Mother tongue instruction and inclusive education". Prominent in this year's celebration is the crucial role mother-tongues play in the right to education.

Among the interesting resources on the Unesco page are an article "Nisha's right" from The Kathmandu Post; an interview with Colette Grinevald: "Speaking your mother tongue is not a disability!"; as well as the following brief podcasts from SOAS radio (a resource well worth bookmarking):
  • in English: Peter Austin on "Bangladesh, Australia and the importance of Mother Language Education"
  • in Russian: Elena Giniotyte on "Archi, an Endangered Language in the Caucasus"
  • in Mandarin: Lianhong Yo on "Language and Nation Building in Singapore"
  • in Arabic: Samah Bushra Yousef on "Bilingual Education in Burkina Faso"
  • in Portuguese: Helena De Moraes Achca on "Bilingual Education in Bolivia"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Common Voices 7 & 8 - on Knowledge Commons

At the January 2011 conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons (IASC) held in Hyderabad, the "knowledge commons" were also discussed. The latest issues of the newsletter Common Voices bring together the deliberations.

Here are the contents of the two issues:

CV 7

Editorial: "Perspectives on Knowledge... Going Beyond Dichotomies"
A Giridhar Rao, "Linguistic Diversity in the Knowledge Commons"
Editorial: "The Loss of (Traditional) Ecological Knowledge among Communities"
Kabir Sanjay Bavikatte, "Stewarding the Commons: Rethinking Property and the Emergence of Biocultural Rights"
Editorial: "Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property Rights"
Editorial: "Traditional Ecological Knowledge: The Key to Effective Fisheries Management"
Shalini Bhutani and Kanchi Kohli, "Traditional Knowledge and 'Commons' Sense"
Venkatesh Hariharan, "Is IP Another Bubble about to Burst? A View from Another Civilisation"

CV 8

Shiv Visvanathan, "The Logic of Knowledge Commons"
David Bollier, "Exclusive Control or Sharing: Which Creates Greater Value on the Internet?"
Editorial: "The Socialisation of Science: India's Knowledge Swaraj"
Harro Maat, "Knowledge, Technology and the Politics of Rice"
Wiebe E. Bijker, "Experimenting for a Knowledge Commons: Public Debate on Nanotechnologies in The Netherlands"
Pankaj Sekhsaria, "Jugaad as a Conceptual and Materials Commons"
Lawrence Liang, "A Handful of Concepts to Understand Openness and to Battle Simony"
Ravi Shukla, "Uncommon Identities: Approaching the Aadhar (UID) Scheme as a Digital Commons"

Hope you find the contents interesting.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

India's crisis in learning

The ASER 2011 report and the PISA 2009+ survey -- it's been a harsh January for the Indian educational system. Rukmini Banerji's "The crisis in learning" and Lant Pritchett's "The first PISA results for India: The end of the beginning" provide depressing summaries. Ajay Shah ("Education in India at the crossroads") and Banerji suggest solutions.

Do bookmark Ajay Shah's blogpost "Education in India: A compact reading kit". Also worth watching is this overview "PISA - Measuring student success around the world".