Teachers say mastery of the first language or mother tongue is critical in ensuring that the basic skills of reading, writing and numeracy are acquired.

The 21st of February has been set aside globally by UNESCO as the International Mother Language Day.

Local languages especially the minority and indigenous ones are crucial in transmitting cultures, values and traditional knowledge.

Are students able to say a single sentence without using an ‘English’ word?

The country has 16 languages and in line with the prioritisation of mother languages, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has introduced mother languages as the mode of instruction in early childhood centres.

This year’s theme for the International Mother Language day is ‘Towards Sustainable Futures Through Multilingual Education’.