The Ministry of Tourism and Arts is gearing up for the commemoration of the International Mother Language Day that falls every year on February 21.
This year, the Department of Arts and Culture wants to work closely with media to review what local languages have achieved since they were introduced in schools from Grade One to Grade Four in 2011.
The government has already shown the importance of local languages by introducing these languages as medium of instruction in schools at primary levels.
The Department also will also use platform to see if the national anthem is still be sung in the different local languages in schools.
According to Victor Makashi, the Director of Arts and Culture at the Ministry, the Zambia National Anthem has very rich messages in every stanza and hence the need to internalize these messages in the song.
“The messages is the song can really help our country to move forward as a unitary state, some of the issues like tribalism would be a thing of the past as the song tells us to work together as a unit,” he says.
He says language is part of the culture, which has been emphasized, and all traditional ceremony activities are conducted in local languages.
“We therefore need to make people understand what is communicated in local languages in the attire as some concepts cannot be explained in English,” he says.
Local languages allow people to unify in diversity hence adding value to a people.
Zambia is rich culturally because it is highly diverse in terms of language.
International Mother Language Day gives people an opportunity to reflect on the importance of local languages as an important component of our cultural heritage.
Celebrating this day promotes awareness of language and cultural diversity across all the world.
UNESCO first announced it on November 17, 1999.