Governments have been encouraged to support multilingualism and use of mother tongues, both at school and in everyday life.
The call comes from Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO, as the world celebrates International Mother Language Day today.
The Director says that it’s essential, especially now that 40% of the world’s inhabitants do not have access to education in the language they speak or understand best, and warns that it hinders learning.
UNESCO underscores the need to pay attention to multilingual education from early childhood, and hold children’s mother tongue as assets.
The day is held under the theme “Fostering multilingualism for inclusion in education and society”.
International Mother Language Day is a worldwide annual observance held on 21 February to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism. First announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999, it was formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly with the adoption of UN resolution 56/262 in 2002.
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