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Celebrating International Mother Language Day 2016

Background

Help Society Nepal (Tharu NGO) Dang celebrated International Mother Language Day Feb 21, 2016 in Hemantpur village.  The Language Development Centre Nepal provided financial and technical assistance to organize this event.  There were more than 30 participants – teachers, parents, Indigenous Knowledge holders, local government representatives, journalists and members from civil society organization.

Objectives

  • Create awareness of local stakeholders about multilingual education
  • Develop a network among local stakeholders to promote multilingual education
  • Discover attitudes toward mother tongue as a language of instruction in basic education

Achievements

The event began with paper ‘Multilingual Education: Opportunities and Challenges’ (P. Kadel, 2016), introduced by civil society leader Mr. Kulbir Chaudhary. The interaction was started based on Mr. Chaudhary’s presentation.  Participants openly shared their ideas and concerns about language and education issues in Dang.

Participants views about mother tongue in primary education and its benefits.

  • Mother tongue is important to develop learner’s cognitive power
  • Mother tongue education will help to provide quality education and socio-economic development of the society
  • Language is a key tool to gain knowledge and for effective communication
  • Mother tongue must be used as medium of instruction for all children
  • Our language needs to be preserved to preserve our culture
  • Language is important in science, skills and our view of life and must be used to inform the next generation through education
  • If we use children’s familiar language (mother tongue/home language) as medium instruction in basic education it will help them to understand what they taught, and enable them to become eager to learn new things and develop their self confidence
  • Our existing teachers do not have capacities to use English as medium of instruction

Concerns from the participants:

  • Mother tongue is killing by visitor languages
  • How will the government prepare or provide teachers who can use mother tongue as a medium of instruction?
  • Out-migration impacts the ability to promote mother tongue education
  • Local government education officials must have a positive attitude to multilingual education.

Recommendations from participants:

  • The Government must prepare teacher to implement multilingual education
  • The Education office needs to prepare good quality materials in mother tongue and training on how to use these materials in local schools
  • We must respect all languages and their role in development
  • Teachers must have capacities to use local languages in basic education
  • The Government should fully implement its policies and plans for multilingual education in basic education

Conclusion

The International Mother Language Day is an important day for all to advocate for the importance of multilingual education.  But … now is the time for action rather reaction to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism through language, education and development activities.

 

We are grateful for your support.

 

Thank you.

Pushker Kadel, LDC-Nepal Director

Email: pushker.kadel@gmail.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ldcnepal1/

Kulbir Chaudhary addressing the event

Kulbir Chaudhary addressing the event

Krishna Bahadur Dangi sharing his ideas about importance of mother tongue

Krishna Bahadur Dangi sharing his ideas- importance of MT

Participants in the program

Participants in the event

Participants in the event

Participants in the event

 
 

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