09.03.2017 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Celebrating International Mother Language Day 2017 at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies: “Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education”

On the occasion of International Mother Language Day 2017 (February 21) the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS) in Colombo, Sri Lanka hosted the Lecture, Questions and Answers (LQA) Session under the theme “Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education.”

The LQA panel featured Mr. Riaz Hamidullah, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka, Mr. Irakli Khodeli, Programme Specialist for Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO Regional Bureau for Sciences, and Mr. George Cooke of BCIS.  The lectures and discussions touched upon the role of mother tongue education in fostering sustainable development. It was noted that it is through the mastery of the first language or mother tongue that the basic skills of reading, writing and numeracy are acquired – building a firm foundation for subsequent learning. The inter-generational transmission of cultures, values and traditional knowledge would be impossible without local languages, especially minority and indigenous languages. Therefore, sustainable future depends on our efforts to safeguard and promote the use of mother languages. 

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