Tag Archives: International Mother Language Day

Students engage in an open debate as part of their practicum programme focused on UN observances

DSC_1034“What if we were to implement mother tongue language in the Namibian education system?”

 As part of the ongoing Practicum Programme for High School students, participants focused on Mother Language on 11 May 2016. After learning more about the official UN observance on Mother Languages, the participants dug deeper to learn more about the topic.

DSC_1005Considering that Namibia is a relatively small population, it is extraordinarily diverse in language and culture. More than 11 languages are spoken in Namibia with English as the official language. Language barriers has become a major problem due to the growing number of students who struggle to speak English.

This situation left the practicum students with the important question on how to tackle the deficits in the future and strengthen understanding. On Wednesday 11 May, the practicum participants engaged in a heated debate on the topic, with the central question being: “What if we were to implement mother tongue language in the Namibian education system?” Continue reading

Secretary General’s Message for International Mother Language Day

mother language day final

International Mother Language Day celebrates linguistic and cultural diversity alongside multilingualism as a force for peace and sustainable development.

 As we work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals while mapping out a post-2015 sustainable development agenda, this diversity can encourage dialogue, mutual understanding, innovation and creativity. This in turn can help us build more just and inclusive societies. As the late President Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart”.

The theme of this year’s observance spotlights the vital role of local languages in advancing science.  This will help ensure that the latest scientific knowledge is more widely shared.  At the same time, it will help deepen and enrich our global knowledge base with more traditional but often overlooked scientific wisdom.

Let us all join forces to promote linguistic diversity and multilingualism as a key element in our efforts to build a better world and a life of dignity for all.