International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is observed every year on February 21 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

This year the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) will honour the day by examining how former model C schools are using school language policies as a barrier to teaching and learning.
 
The discussion which will be broadcast live by etv’s Sunrise Breakfast Show as part of the Language Activism Month which will be taking place at Meropa Sun in Limpopo.
 
Join the conversation on social media, with panelists (among others), MEC of Education in Limpopo: Mr Ismael Kgetjepe, National School Governing Bodies (NASGB) Deputy Chairperson: Mr Matjitle Maleka; Limpopo MEC for Sport Arts and Culture: Ms Onica Moloi.
 
“As we celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism it is important that we also reflect on the Republic’s use of all official languages and other languages as enshrined in the founding document of the Republic, The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

"We cannot continue to create a situation in which African children are made to leave their African languages at the gates of learning,” said Dr Rakweni Mpho Monareng.
 
The 2018 Language Activism Month with the theme: Re a bala, We Read, was activated on February 1 until February 28.

“This years’ campaign has brought on board Exclusive Books which for the first time will be retailing books written in all eleven South African Official Languages,” said Dr Monareng. IMLD was first proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) in November 1999.
 
IMLD has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. This date represents the specific day in 1952 when students demonstrated for Bangla to be recognised as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan. Protesting students were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, and sacrificed their lives for their desire for the recognition of their mother tongue language.
 
For PanSALB, a day is not enough to celebrate our diversity of languages, especially in a country that has 11 official languages.
 
How to participate
As a way of tackling the country’s unfolding reading crisis, the public can participate by buying, donating and reading a book in any of the previously marginalized languages and post it with the hashtags #SpeakitLiveit #WeRead.
 
Please join the conversation on social media between 05:45am – 8:30am, by tweeting at @PanSALB and @IOL in your mother tongue using the hashtags #SpeakitLiveit #WeRead.
 
We’re on Facebook: @PanSALB
We’re on Instagram: @pansalb_za