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International Mother Language Day 2024

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International Mother Language Day is observed annually on February 21st, to recognize the importance of safeguarding linguistic diversity and supporting intergenerational learning for cultural preservation.

The purpose of celebrating this day is to raise awareness and preserve the differences in cultures and languages that foster tolerance and respect for others.

This year, it takes center stage with the theme “Multilingual education is a pillar of intergenerational learning.” This theme underscores the importance of incorporating multiple languages into the educational system.

By introducing the starting education in the learner’s mother tongue, then gradually introducing other languages, we bridged barriers between home and school, facilitating effective learning.

An estimated 40 percent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand.

However, research shows that the use of learners’ mother tongue in schools provides a solid foundation for learning, boosts self-esteem and critical thinking skills, and opens the door for inter-generational learning, language revitalization, and the preservation of culture and intangible heritage.

According to the United Nations, at least 45% of the estimated 7,000 languages spoken in the world are endangered.

Only a limited number of languages, numbering in the hundreds, have truly found a place within educational systems and the public sphere. In addition, fewer than one hundred languages are actively used in the digital world.

When a language fades, it also takes away the rich cultural tapestry of the world. Not only that, we lose knowledge, traditions, experience, a unique world view, and the use of local resources that ensure a better future.

Also Read: Global Tourism Resilience Day 2024

Preventing languages from fading is crucial to fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals, which call for inclusive, quality education and lifelong learning for all.

International Mother Language Day is celebrated in the whole world through cultural events, language exhibitions, multilingual competitions, and virtual seminars to raise awareness.

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also organized an event on February 21st that will include two panel discussions on multilingual education as a key component of quality learning.

Saudha Hira
Saudha Hira
A dedicated student of International Relations at the University of Karachi (UOK), and a passionate explorer of Long-form Journalism. She is keen to understand the changing dynamics of International Affairs and how states use multi-vector foreign policy in a contemporary era to acquire their interest. She is eager to contribute to the discourse on Intricate geopolitical matters. She can be reached at saudha854@gmail.com

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