Sunday, February 21, 2016

International Mother Language Day - 21 February

About the Day - International Mother Language Day - 21 February

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

The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.

Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.


2016 Theme:

Quality education, language(s) of instruction and learning outcomes

Quality education, language(s) of instruction and learning outcomes

The theme of the 2016 International Mother Language Day is “Quality education, language(s) of instruction and learning outcomes.”

This underlines the importance of mother languages for quality education and linguistic diversity, to take forward the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In Sustainable Development Goal 4, the 2030 Agenda 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. This is especially important for girls and women, as well as minorities, indigenous peoples, and rural populations. This is reflected in UNESCO’s Education 2030 Framework for Action, a road-map to implement the 2030 Agenda, encouraging full respect for the use of mother language in teaching and learning, and the promotion and preservation of linguistic diversity.

UNESCO supports advancing linguistic diversity on the Internet, through support to relevant local content as well as media and information literacy.  Through the Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems  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.

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. We must recognise and nurture this power, in order to leave no one behind, to craft a more just and sustainable future for all.

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2015 Theme

The theme for IMLD 2015 is

"Inclusion in and through education: Language counts".

Intiative B@bel

It promotes multilingualism on the Internet in order to make access to its contents and services more equitable for users worldwide.




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