International Mother Language Day encourages mother tongue educationListen /
Thursday, February 21st is being observed as International Mother Language Day.
This year, the theme for the Day is exploring the links between languages and books.
Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General notes that in some countries, the dearth of books and textbooks in local languages hampers development and social inclusion and represents a violation of the right to freedom of expression.
While digital tools can help to fill this gap, she says, they are not enough.
Ms. Bokova says more needs to be done to distribute materials and books in as many languages as possible, including the mother tongues of children.
Launched in 1999 by UNESCO, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, International Mother Language Day is designed to promote linguistic diversity and multilingual education.
It also seeks to highlight greater awareness of the importance of mother tongue education.
Gerry Adams, United Nations