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Home » On This Day — February 21 | International Mother Language Day

On This Day — February 21 | International Mother Language Day

On February 21, the world celebrates International Mother Language Day. The United Nations-designated day acknowledges the importance of languages and multilingualism in advancing inclusion, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals’ emphasis on leaving no one behind.

History of International Mother Language Day 2022

International Mother Language Day

Bangladesh initiated the International Mother Language Day, which was approved at the 1999 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) General Conference and  celebrated annually since then. In the year 2000, the world observed the first International Mother Language Day.

Theme of International Mother Language Day 2022 

International Mother Language Day

“Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and Opportunities” is the theme for 2022. The emphasis is on the potential role of technology in advancing multilingual education and promoting quality teaching and learning for all.

Significance of International Mother Language Day 2022

  • Promoting Mother Language is critical for cultural and linguistic diversity in order to build sustainable societies. It is part of its peace mandate to work to preserve the cultural and linguistic differences that foster tolerance and respect for others.
  • Linguistic diversity is under threat as more and more languages become extinct. Globally, 40% of the population lacks access to an education in a language that they speak or understand. Nonetheless, there is a growing understanding of the importance of mother tongue-based multilingual education, particularly in early childhood education, and a greater commitment to its development in public life.

Significance of Indian Languages 

India has 121 different languages. The first 22  listed in Part A of the Eighth Schedule to the Indian Constitution, while the remaining 99  listed in Part B. In addition, there are 270 mother tongues in India. According to the 2011 census, the most common language in India is Hindi, which is spoken by more than 52 million people, while Sanskrit is spoken by only 24,821 people. English  classification is in  a non-scheduled language, meaning it is not listed in the eighth schedule.

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