Today is International Mother Language Day!
The opening ceremony will include a speech by UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, the Ambassador of Bangladesh to France, the Permanent Delegate of Bangladesh to UNESCO and the representative of Secretary General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.
A debate will follow with Monica Perena, Director of Linguapax, Thésée Gina, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Mike Fleming, University de Durham, speaking on behalf of the Council of Europe, and M. Philippe Benoit, INALCO.
As the EFA Goals are far from attained due, in part, to the difficulties of reaching the worst-off segments of the population, the debate around language and education becomes more central. Linguistic minorities are often among the most marginalized populations, with little or poor access to quality education. When they do have access to education, learners from these communities are often either excluded from opportunities to pursue their educational career beyond primary or pushed out of education because the language of instruction is not their own.