International Mother Language Day recognises the fact that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion, and the Sustainable Development Goals’ focus on leaving no one behind. Like UNESCO, Macmillan Education believes in observing every child’s right to know (and use) mother tongue as early as early childhood stage. In line with this Macmillan Education Eswatini partnered with 5 pre-schools from Ezulwini on the 18th of February 2022 to celebrate Mother Tongue. The theme for 2022 was: Using technology for multilingual learning: challenges and opportunities.
The event was hosted by Siyancoba Pre-school at Ezulwini and joined by four other pre-schools: Bahai Pre-school, Amazing Grace Pre-school, Mbeleko Pre-school and Mobeni Pre-school. This celebration was attended by various dignitaries including the acting Senior Inspector for Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD), Mrs N. Hlophe, SiSwati Senior Inspector Celiwe Mohammed, UNESCO Secretary General, Director of the National Curriculum Centre (NCC), NCC ECCD Designer, NCC Head of SiSwati Department and a seasoned SiSwati Author, Mr Modison Magagula.
Celebrating Mother Language Day
During the proceedings of the ceremony various activities were rendered by each of the 5 pre-schools. These renditions included naming of cultural items using SiSwati, counting in their mother language, reciting days of the week in their mother language, reciting poems, singing songs and more, just to unearth and emphasise the beauty of the kids’ mother tongue. The managing director for Macmillan Education Eswatini, Mr Bongani Motsa, highlighted that as a company we note that research indicates that having a strong mother tongue foundation leads to a much better understanding of the curriculum as well as a more positive attitude towards school, so it's vital that children learn their first language before they may be introduced to a different language. He further stated that the promotion of the mother language and multilingualism can advance inclusion and ensure that no one is left behind in socio-economic development terms. This event attracted a lot of mileage for the company.
Macmillan Education Made a Donation!
Macmillan Education made a donation of pre-school materials and books to the five pre-schools worth E25000. Each pre-school received a box to the value of E5000 and the participating children were awarded with drawstring bags and rulersets with pencils. The participants were very grateful to Macmillan Education for the gifts.