Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2019. 11:32 am CST.
By BBN Staff:Today, International Mother Language is celebrated under the theme: “Indigenous languages matter for development, peacebuilding and reconciliation”.
International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is celebrated every year on February 21st with the overall objective to promote linguistic diversity and multilingual education.
UNESCO believes that every mother tongue deserves to be known, recognized, and given greater prominence in all spheres of public life. However, this is not always the case. Mother tongues do not necessarily have national-language status, official-language status, or status as the language of instruction.
According to UNESCO, nearly 40 percent of the world’s population lack access to education in a language which they speak or understand. This situation persists despite studies showing that the command of a mother tongue facilitates general learning and learning of other languages.
Indigenous peoples have always expressed their desire for education in their own languages, as set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The National Garifuna Council (NGC) in Belize is paving the way for the future with Gulisi Primary School and looking for support to have Garifuna being taught in the schools within Garifuna Communities in Belize.
Anyone wishing to provide support to the organization can contact them at [email protected]. Today, NGC celebrates International Mother Language Day with the words of Jorge Bernardez that capture the importance of language:
“Lau wañeñe warufudagua waungua katañadiwa lan.”
Our language is the vehicle of our cultural expression and identity.
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