International Mother Language Day observed on February 21

Feb 22, 2016 13:08 IST

21 February: International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day 2016 was celebrated across the world on 21 February 2016. The theme for the year 2016 is Quality education, language(s) of instruction and learning outcomes.

The theme emphasizes the importance of appropriate languages of instruction, usually mother tongues, in the early years of schooling.

It facilitates access to education while promoting fairness for population groups that speak minority and indigenous languages particularly girls and women; it raises the quality of education and learning achievement by laying emphasis on understanding and creativity, rather than on rote and memorisation.

International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 and has been observed every year since February 2000. It also proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism.

The day, February 21, represents the date in 1952 when students from Bangladesh 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.

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