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Lessons for teaching Kui and Desia languages prepared at Central University of Odisha

The Central University of Odisha along with NCERT and RIT prepared learning material for Kui and Desia tribal languages following a five-day workshop

Languages are created by human beings and need to be preserved to know about the history and heritage of people and places. That was precisely the aim of the five-day national workshop which was conducted for preparing material for Kui and Desia languages that will enable learners, especially the young, to learn their mother tongue.

Kui is a south-eastern Dravidian language which is spoken by the Kandhas. Written in Odia script it is generally spoken in Odisha. The language was also referred to as the Kuinga language during the historical period and is closely related to the Gondi and Kuvi languages.

On the other hand, Desia or Desiya or Desia or Koraputi Odia is an Indo-Aryan language variety spoken in Koraput, Nabarangpur, Rayagada and Malkangiri districts of Odisha. In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the language is spoken in Vishakhapatnam’s hilly regions and Vizianagaram district.

The deliberations during the workshop brought to the fore several aspects of preparing the material. It was suggested that importance must be given to listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Kui and Desia languages while preparing the books.

Further, a list of the vocabulary of child-friendly vowels and consonants in the two languages was prepared. These are accompanied with appropriate illustration.

Words were selected and their formatting done for preparing the elementary books.

Lessons were prepared in a way to keep them simple with consonants and vowels of the languages included in them. Primers in the two were prepared for the primary class. Besides this Odia letters too were introduced for the students.

These books will be provided to Kui and Desia speaking persons and they will be revised according to their feedback and comments.

The learning material was prepared under the chairmanship of Dr. Basant Kumar Panda and the supervision of Dr. Mahendra Kumar Mishra and Shivshankar Patnaik.

The five-day national workshop to finalise the learning materials was organised by the National Council of Educational Research and Training; Regional Institute of Education; and Central University of Odisha.