23 February 2022
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During the celebration of the International Day of Mother Languages, on February 21, Gabonese linguistic specialists expressed the wish to popularize vernacular languages, by including them in the education system.
Nowadays, it is clear that in Gabon, traditional languages are less used in daily conversations. Which according to linguists will lead to the vanishing of these one. Marie-France ANDEME ALLOGO, Director of Language Sciences Department at Omar BONGO University said “Gabonese are ashamed to speak their mother tongues”.
Language is the identity of people, therefore lessons on mother tongues should be added to the Gabonese school program. In addition, the role of the family remains important in the learning of the traditional languages, think teachers of Language Sciences Department from Omar BONGO University. This is why the theme of this year’s celebration was “the introduction of mother tongues into the Gabonese education system”. The National Pedagogical Institute is developing educational projects that will be included in the Gabonese school program, underlines Adrien MAKAYA from the said institute. Note that Gabon has about 50 ethnic groups.
Remember that this day was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2000. Because it believes in the importance of “cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies” . In addition, it should be noted that approximately 40 percent of the world’s population does not have access to ethnic language education.
Swahili, for example, this vernacular language from East Africa, is already one of the official languages of African Union. It is among the 10 most spoken languages in the world.
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