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Museum, solution to language preservation

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THE 2022 International Mother Tongue Day(IMLD) was celebrated on February 22, 2022, with theme: “Using Technology for Multilingual Learning : Challenge and Opportunities”. This was adopted by UNESCO to help discover the potential role of technology to advance multilingual education and support the development of quality teaching and learning globally.

  UNESCO believes in the pivotal roles and significance in the cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies. It is within its mandate for peace that it works to preserve the differences in culture and language that foster tolerance and respect for others.

  The International Mother Language Day was first observed in Bangladesh in 1955. In 1999, UNESCO proclaimed 21st February every year as a day set aside to celebrate every language globally.

  It is observed every year world over to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. This day recognises that language and multilingualism can advance inclusion and sustainable development goals, focusing on leaving no one behind.

  Presently, there is more awareness of the fact that language plays a vital role in development, in ensuring cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, but also, in strengthening cooperation and attaining quality education for all.

  UNESCO also expressed concern over the erosion of language across the world. Hence; UNESCO decided to observe this day as a commitment towards understanding the importance of the mother language.

  The role of museum in the celebration of International Mother Language Day cannot be overemphasised. The museum generally is an institution fore known for preservation of culture which language is significantly part of.

  Therefore, the museum as an agent of cultural propagation maintains their role in the use of all cultural objects to educate the general public. The museum helps to establish and highlight the importance of indigenous languages and to inspire the public, including those with special needs to promote, preserve and protect all languages in their environment.

  In the words of Utata Rolihlahla Mandela: “If you talk to a man in the language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language,  that goes to his heart”. This resonates with the primary objective of the IMLD which is to promote and encourage the use of mother language by all citizens, and to reach and influence them for the betterment and our society progress especially in the domain of education, science and technology.

  The museum understands that every language is indispensable to its owners especially to those who are affected by the possible extinction of their mother tongue. Therefore, the museum deems it necessary to reach out and empower the public in whatever form to uphold the language they speak and understand for greater scientific and technological global advancement.

  It is for these reasons that museums in Nigeria participate in the annual celebration of the IMLD, in keeping with this year’s theme: “Using Technology For Multilingual Learning; Challenges and Opportunities,” UNESCO’s intention is to promote multilingual education to enhance learning outcomes and give life to cultural diversity.

Otikpa  wrote from  ACMEO NCMM, Igboukwu

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