International Mother Language Day is observed worldwide on 21st February every year to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.
The Day is part of a broader initiative to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by people of the world. The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day first came from Bangladesh.
The general conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decided to celebrate February 21 as International Mother Language Day in 2000. Every year, a unique theme is chosen by UNESCO to celebrate this special day.
Theme: The theme of 2022 is: “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities”, it focuses on potential role of technology to advance multilingual education and support the development of quality teaching and learning for all.
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 per cent of high-income countries provided remote learning through online platforms for at least one education level compared to only 58 per cent 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.