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Garifuna language to officially be taught in Belizean schools in South

Posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2024. 8:54 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The National Garifuna Council (NGC) has announced that the associated Garifuna Language Commission has agreed with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology on an official curriculum for the teaching of Garifuna in schools.

The Ministry approved in a meeting on Monday, February 26, the Garifuna Language Curriculum; Professional Development Plan; and formal implementation of the Garifuna Language in Schools Program amid lengthy and continued efforts by the NGC and the Battle of the Drums Secretariat (BDS) in the preservation and revitalization of the Garifuna language and culture.

The program will be taught in schools in the six Garifuna-majority communities in Southern Belize: Barangu (Barranco), Peini (Punta Gorda Town), Senbeidi (Seine Bight), Georgetown, Dangriga Town and Yugadan (Hopkins), with further expansion planned.

Per the Council: “The Garifuna Language Curriculum and its accompanying Professional Development Plan, developed by the Garifuna Language Commission, which was formed by The National Garifuna Council and The Battle of Drums Secretariat, signify a major achievement in the ongoing mission to reclaim and safeguard the Garifuna language. The curriculum will serve as a cornerstone in ensuring the preservation of the language for future generations, reinforcing its significance as a fundamental element of Garifuna culture. The Professional Development Plan will ensure the building of human resource capacity to enable efficient and effective service delivery while allowing the participants to attain CPD (continuing professional development) credits.”

The NGC and BDS say they are grateful to all involved as well as the brass in Belmopan for giving the final approval to step forward and secure Garifuna language and culture, recognized by UNESCO two decades ago.

 

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