Int’l Mother Language Day

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Technology has the potential to address some of the greatest challenges in education today. It can accelerate efforts towards ensuring equitable and inclusive lifelong learning opportunities for all if it is guided by the core principles of inclusion and equity. Multilingual education based on mother tongue is a key component of inclusion in education.

During COVID-19 school closures, many countries around the world employed technology-based solutions to maintain continuity of learning. A recent UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank and OECD survey on national education responses to COVID-19 school closures of 143 countries showed that 96 % of high-income countries provided remote learning through online platforms for at least one education level compared to only 58 %of low-income countries. In low-income contexts, the majority of countries reported using broadcast media such as television (83%) and radio (85%) to support continuity of learning. Obviously, teachers lacked skills and readiness for using distance teaching. Many learners lacked the necessary equipment, internet access, accessible materials, adapted content, and human support that would have allowed them to follow distance learning. Moreover, distance teaching and learning tools, programs, and content are not always able to reflect language diversity.

The multicultural fair that started on February 18 with an award distribution ceremony to honor the lifetime contributions of local legends, unveiled a documentary by UNDP Pakistan about the beauty of Pakistan’s 72 languages, the world hasn’t seen before. A filmed map of Pakistan showing the location of each local language besides basic statistics of each tongue was a special feature of the event. It was followed by a dialogue between its natives, who later on share the life in their area and the problems they face. Simultaneously, a session on feminist literature in several mother tongues was held to highlight the importance of the role of women in this arena.

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