The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) commemorates the month of February as Language Activism Month, which is a campaign centred on the International Mother Language Day (IMLD), a UNESCO public observance day that takes place annually on the 21st.
The campaign is aimed at creating awareness on the use of mother tongue and to instill pride in our languages and positively contribute towards nation building. For the past four years, the campaign has grown in stature and popularity and provides an opportunity to re-imagine ways to effectively contribute towards the development and promoting of indigenous languages and to encourage discourse on the importance of preserving our languages.
The theme of the 2021 International Mother Language Day, “Fostering multilingualism for inclusion in education and society,” recognizes that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion, and the Sustainable Development Goals’ focus on leaving no one behind. UNESCO believes education, based on the first language or mother tongue, must begin from the early years as early childhood care and education is the foundation of learning.
Owing to COVID-19 regulations, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) will this year conduct its language activism campaign through digital platforms and will run from 01- 28 February 2021.