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UNESCO underlines quality education in mother languages towards 2030 agenda




Mother languages are essential to providing quality education, which in turn supports the achievement of the new global development agenda, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has said.

He said this is necessary as the UN marked the International Day established to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world.

International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the UNESCO General Conference in November 1999, and has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

“Mother languages in a multilingual approach are essential components of quality education, which is itself the foundation for empowering women and men and their societies.

“There is need to recognise and nurture this power in order to leave no one behind and craft a more just and sustainable future for all.’’
The theme of the 2016 Mother Language Day is “Quality education, languages of instruction and learning outcomes’’.

“Goal 4 of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development focuses on quality education and lifelong learning for all, to enable every woman and man to acquire skills, knowledge, and values to become everything they wish and participate fully in their societies,’’ Bokova said.

She noted that this was especially important for girls and women, as well as minorities, indigenous peoples and rural populations.

Bokova said that UNESCO’s Education 2030 Framework for Action, a road-map to implement the 2030 Agenda, encourages full respect for the use of mother language in teaching and learning, and the promotion and preservation of linguistic diversity.

“Multilingualism is essential to drive these objectives forward, it is vital for success across the 2030 Agenda, regarding growth, employment and health, as well as sustainable consumption and production, and climate change.

“UNESCO brings the same focus to advancing linguistic diversity on the Internet, through support to relevant local content as well as media and information literacy,’’ she said.

Through the Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) programme, UNESCO is highlighting the importance of mother and local languages as channels for safeguarding and sharing indigenous cultures and knowledge, which are vast reservoirs of wisdom.

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