76,000 words unveiled: Dialect dictionary breaks new ground - Hindustan Times
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76,000 words unveiled: Dialect dictionary breaks new ground

By, Prayagraj
Sep 09, 2023 01:02 AM IST

For primary schoolkids: The four-volume lexicon, in sync with NEP-2020, contains words of regional languages like Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Braj and Bundelkhandi

At the behest of basic education department, State Education Institute (SIE), Prayagraj, has designed a first-of-its kind dialects dictionary in four volumes having 76,000 words in region-specific languages, including Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Braj and Bundelkhandi, say state basic education department officials aware of the development.

Students in a classroom at a government primary school in Prayagraj. (HT file photo)
Students in a classroom at a government primary school in Prayagraj. (HT file photo)

The move is aimed at conserving regional dialects of the Hindi heartland and using them to better educate school kids. The dictionary, which is already in the printing stage, is in line with the new National Education Policy (NEP)-2020, the officials add.

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The dictionary comprises a set of four books of around 150 pages each. It will soon be released by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), UP, they add.

The officials said that teachers from different regions posted in primary and upper primary schools spread across the state will be able to explain the topics and the subjects better to the enrolled students in their own local dialects using this four-set dictionary.

“This will not only encourage the conservation of these dialects but also help in removing linguistic barriers. This will help teachers and students of government-run primary and upper primary schools of the U.P. Basic Education Council,” said Naval Kishore, principal of State Institute of Education, Allenganj, while confirming the development.

“The students would be able to better grasp the topics when teachers explain them in a language the children speak and understand better than Hindi and English,” he added.

Deepti Mishra, the assistant deputy director (education) and coordinator, Samagra Shiksha, SIE, Prayagraj, said maximum 22,000 words of Braj language have been preserved in one of the volumes while in the other 18,000 words of Bhojpuri have been compiled.

Likewise, 17,000 words of Awadhi and 19,000 words of Bundeli languages have been compiled in the third and the fourth set of the dictionary—each having their meaning given in Hindi.

“In our society, dictionaries are often seen only as reference books but like a good grammar book, a good dictionary is also very helpful in teaching the language or a subject to anyone. With the help of this four-set dictionary, teachers of other language areas will also be able to explain the subject well to the students in their own dialect,” Deepti Mishra said.

Currently, 1.8 crore students are studying at 1.68 lakh government primary and upper primary schools in Uttar Pradesh. Over 5 lakh teachers are employed in these schools.

NEP-2020 emphasises the importance of local languages to bridge the language gap between a child’s home language and the language of instruction.

The policy emphasises quality recruitment and overall teacher development for students of Classes 5 to 8 who will be learning their native language. NEP-2020 relies heavily on teachers in schools. Teachers’ skill levels, particularly in primary schools, are a significant concern when implementing NEP-2020, the officials say.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    K Sandeep Kumar is a Special Correspondent of Hindustan Times heading the Allahabad Bureau. He has spent over 16 years reporting extensively in Uttar Pradesh, especially Allahabad and Lucknow. He covers politics, science and technology, higher education, medical and health and defence matters. He also writes on development issues.

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