GIS – 05 March, 2020: ‘The richness of a language lies in its diversity and when Government set up the Akademi Kreol Repiblik Moris (AKRM) last year, the diversity of our mother language, the Mauritian Kreol, was taken into consideration. In fact, all Mauritians identify themselves with Mauritian Kreol, thus, the unifying element of the language. We are proud of our mother language, which transcends all communities and cultures and is a symbol of our identity and rally all Mauritians’.
The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, made this statement, today, at the Mauritius Institute of Education, in Réduit. She was speaking at the launching of activities to celebrate the 2020 edition of International Mother Language Day. The chairperson of the Akademi Kreol Repiblik Moris and Director of the MIE, and, the Chairperson of the Creole Speaking Union were also present.
In her keynote address, Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun, highlighted the role of the AKRM in standardising and structuring Mauritian Kreol, which is an ever-evolving and dynamic language, and also in ensuring that citizens make use of the language’s correct spelling and grammar. The ultimate aim is to have a spelling and grammar that is recognised and official and used nationwide, she stated. A vocabulary has to be elaborated and we must be able to promote this language across all sectors and all spheres of our society, she emphasised.
Government, assured the VPM, will give the necessary means to enable the population to learn read and write Mauritian Kreol in its proper structure and training will be offered to that end. Moreover, she recalled that Mauritian Kreol is widely used by many organisations, the media, and the public and private sectors.
Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun further elaborated on key initiatives in promoting the use of our mother language which include: the introduction of Mauritian Kreol in schools as an optional language, finalisation of correct spelling and grammar rules, setting up of a Kreol unit at the MIE as well as publishing of the third edition of the Mauritian Kreol dictionary.
The AKRM’s logo which depicts the diversity of the Mauritian population was unveiled on that occasion. In addition, a two-day exhibition retracing the history of Mauritan Kreol was inaugurated. Other activities being organised include a round table on the theme ‘Kreol Morisien, Lang Nasional, ki so inplikasion pou nou pei, nou sosiete ek nou bann institision’.
International Mother Language Day
International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999.
This International Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.
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