JORHAT, Aug 1 - Tezpur University Vice-Chancellor Dr Madan M Sarma, who is a noted linguist, appealed to the civil society of Assam here on Monday to launch online teaching system in Assamese-medium schools in order to supplement the education-imparting system in the State.
Sarma was speaking as the chief guest at a function organised at the District Library auditorium here in which he released the bilingual Byabaharik Jatiya Abhidhan (Applied Dictionary in both Assamese and English), published by Asam Jatiya Prakash.
Asam Jatiya Prakash, it may be mentioned, is an organisation which a few years back had published the biggest-ever comprehensive dictionary in Assamese (Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan) running into four volumes with 5,700 pages and incorporating over two lakh words. Sarma is the president of the Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan Samiti, the committee that conceptualised and carried out research work for bringing out the lexicons.
Sarma said that several States in the country have introduced online learning system by preparing study material in many subjects by using the respective languages spoken in those States to assist their education system from school to the university level.
The Vice-Chancellor said that in Assam, online education was coming up with teaching material available in English and there was a strong need to extend the initiative by preparing online teaching material in Assamese language to reach out to the schools across the State, many of which were in remote and far-flung areas and have very less teacher strength.
Sarma, while appealing to the civil society and also the Government to undertake such an initiative, said initially a pilot project should be taken up by any educational organisation or by a group of educationists and subsequently obtain Government support to execute the same.
He said a few schools should be selected where the project should be launched on an experimental basis.
Sarma suggested that in the proposed pilot project, study material should be prepared for Class-IX and X students in the following four subjects: Science, Mathematics, Assamese and English. He said the project could be started from Jorhat district, which is an educational hub with so many leading educational institutes located here.
The Vice-Chancellor while lauding the Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan team for the painstaking efforts undertaken by them in bringing out the lexicon volumes and also the Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan Bigyan Prajukti Khanda (A Dictionary of Scientific Technological Terms in Assamese), lamented that so far dictionaries published in Assam had no IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) symbols available.
Sarma said scholars should come forward to carry out research work on phonetics of Assamese language and come out with IPA symbols to define the correct pronunciation.
Chief Editor of the Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan project and Editor of the Byabaharik Jatiya Abhidhan, Dr Devabrata Sharma said the Byabaharik Jatiya Abhidhan has one lakh words and runs into 1,057 pages.
Among others, Toyin Falola, Historian and Professor of African Studies at the Texas University (USA) was among the guests present at the function.