Aawaz is a blogsite started by Vaidehi Ramanathan and Usree Bhatacharya. Our overall aim is to raise civic awareness and debate about current South Asian language and education policies and towards this end, we invite all civic-minded citizens interested in South Asia, regardless of professional or disciplinary backgrounds, to participate. We also invite discussions about aspects of culture and identity by our members that might be relevant to South Asian language policy and education. People engaged in business, industry or politics are just as welcome as those in teaching, medicine and engineering.
Because this site proceeds from the assumption that educating our children and youth is one of our primary, collective endeavours as parents, teachers and citizens, we encourage participation that is mindful and committed to creating contexts for sustainable transformation. In particular, we wish to encourage debate about questions such as:
1. In what ways do language and education policies create and reproduce contexts of inequality? Which particular policies do this? Who is being left out? What are some ways we can rethink these?
2. In what ways do pedagogic activities, teaching styles, access to materials, and syllabus and curricular design impact what students learn and/or able to learn? What are we doing about what is not effective?
3. Do our current measures for testing and evaluating student performance measure what they are supposed to? What policies can we rethink to make change happen? What small steps are many of us already taking to counter ineffective evaluations?
4. In what ways do the dynamics of English- and Vernacular-medium education sit at the heart of issues such as heritages and identities? Who is the “global South Asian” and what roles do our South-Asian languages play in the creation of one?
Participants should feel free to post long blog entries (including first-person accounts) with or without photos and film clips. Comments on blogs are also welcome. Of particular interest to us editors are accounts of what civic-minded citizens are actually doing–in classrooms, work-spaces, communities–to move us all towards a more equal space.
Aawaz ILEP encourages all of its readers to comment on blog posts, and to contribute to building a vibrant and engaged online community. We encourage a diversity of views, opinions, and languages, but we also want to ensure that comments respect the rights of blog authors and viewers. All comments on Aawaz are subject to moderation.
In particular, we encourage comments that
- Are relevant, i.e., “on topic,” and that respond to the content in the blog post
- Are responses to comments left by other readers
- Have a positive/constructive tone
- Are open to being contradicted by other readers
- Might disagree with the content in the article or blog post, but they do not insult the writer of the article or blog post, other commenters, or members of the Aawaz community
Comments that will not be approved are those that:
- Contain unsolicited advertisements (“spam”), use keywords, spam, splog-like URLs, or suspicious information,
- Are unrelated to the subject matter of the post or of subsequent approved comments
- Contain ad hominem or personal attacks, aggressive behavior, disrespectful instigation of arguments, or abusive or gratuitously offensive language.
In addition, any links to commercial sites/products will be removed from any comment on Aawaz.
Comments (and IP addresses) from visitors to Aawaz in violation of the comment policy will be blocked.