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The PanSALB commemorates the 2016 International Mother Language Day (IMLD) with you and the rest of world

The PanSALB commemorates the 2016 International Mother Language Day (IMLD) with you and the rest of world

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) joins the rest of the world in honouring the Bangladesh students who lost their lives during an official campaign to use their mother language in Bengali (1952). Such was a cataclysmic epoch that placed the locus of language and particularly indigenous languages as a social phenomenon that MATTERS. The genesis upon which our joint obligation to give the latter languages socioeconomic, political and business cadence preeminently lays here. The decision taken by the UN’s Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to ennoble this day as sufficiently worthy for global commemoration is value laden.

It is laudable that we today globally and collectively mark this day as an annual recharge base that propels pride and encourages the use of indigenous languages as mother languages. Our PanSALB lens for this IMLD is themed on the Khoi, San and Sign languages. Inherent within these mother languages are the value and the associate knowledge system that give genuine substance to the universal persistent human drive to create new knowledge.  Speak in doublets (pair of semantically equivalent words of two different languages) this IMLD and beyond. You will be giving yourself a lifelong boost to your problem solving skills. A ground breaking research by Concordian University in Canada confirmed this assertion.

PanSALB shall through its provincial offices nationwide speak doublets. Award ceremonies for learners and teachers for the exceptional performance in the South African official indigenous languages are underway. Teachers and learners will receive certificate of excellence in the category of languages to ensure that indigenous languages are continuously encouraged in the curriculum of our system of education to preserve multilingualism.  Of key importance would be our planned attempt to intervene in the language policy uprisings in higher education.  We view this embryonic project as the hall mark of our language mandate to bring equitability of use of all South African languages in tertiary education.  It shall happen and we shall drive it home.

Language forms the basis of who we all are.  This is in fact a definition of who we are as humans and it is of paramount importance to know where we all come from. Language is the ultimate sources thereof. South Africa (and the rest of the world) has more than enough resources to preserve multilingualism as our unique heritage. We all are among these the key resources. IMLD enlivens this line of thought. It is the right time to stand, shine and utilize our all to redress the imbalances of the past where the indigenous languages were starkly denuded and marginalized to extinction. It is therefore equally important to ensure that as the custodian of languages we give strategic direction and equal recognition to the dispensation of linguistics human rights. Language is the fundamental human right that should be nurtured at all the times to protect human dignity and individual rights. The 2016 IMLD theme, “Quality education, language (s) of instruction and learning outcomes” aimed at aligning the sustainability development goal for on education is an aptly rallying point. Happy IMLD!

Dr RRM Monareng (CEO PanSALB)