Thursday, June 8, 2006

[MLE] UNESCO's response to the Recommendations concerning Indigenous People

Dear MLE interest group,
In the attached report from UNESCO to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues the October seminar on Multi Lingual Education in India was mentioned (P6, see also below). The report is focussed on the Millennium Development Goals and indigenous peoples.

_______________ Copy of section 16 -19 Re: Multi Lingualism_______________

16. In 2005, several regional and subregional meetings and workshops on multilingual
and multicultural education were organized under the auspices of UNESCO:
• In June in Dhaka, a symposium on multilingual education was sponsored by
UNESCO, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and SIL
International (Bangladesh). Its objectives were to focus on the education
situation faced by many of the 40 ethnolinguistic minority communities in
Bangladesh, share specific practices of successful multilingual education
programmes in other Asian countries, foster a network of organizations
engaged in or planning the said programmes and develop a preliminary set of
plans for promoting multilingual education in Bangladesh.
• In October, a workshop on multilingual education focusing on tribal education
was sponsored by UNESCO, UNICEF, the National Council for Educational
Research and Training and the Central Institute of Indian Languages in
Mysore, India. The purpose of the workshop was to bring together members of
the tribal communities, practitioners, scholars and policymakers to discuss
issues relating to the educational needs of tribal speakers and to learn from
each other in planning education programmes that are more appropriate to the
educational needs of tribal language communities and that affirm the heritage,
languages and cultures of learners.
• A regional workshop on mother-tongue/bilingual literacy for ethnic minorities
was organized in Chiangmai, Thailand in December 2005. The objective of the
workshop was to provide opportunities for participants in those projects and
high-level personnel from formal education systems to share and learn from
experiences in implementing mother-tongue/bilingual literacy projects. It also
aimed to develop a strategy of policy dialogue and follow-up action plans for
expansion/institutionalization of the project in participating countries.
17. To facilitate and promote multilingual education, the UNESCO Asia and
Pacific Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok is developing an advocacy
toolkit on multilingual education. The toolkit is designed to raise awareness among
top policymakers, mid-level planners and implementers, teachers, educators and
communities on the importance of multilingual education.
18. The Bureau is moreover helping nine countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia,
China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam) to
implement pilot projects involving mother-tongue/bilingual literacy programmes.
Participating countries undertake research with the participation of linguists and
community members, prepare context-specific literacy materials using mothertongue/
bilingual approaches and train local personnel in the use of teaching/learning
materials for facilitating learning by community members.1
19. UNESCO supports the action research project on literacy and curriculum
development in mother tongue for the Oraon community in north-west Bangladesh.
The project aims at exploring means and tools for developing educational materials
in the mother tongue (Sadri) for grade 3, focusing on bridging the gap between
Sadri and Bangla, the national language. One of the goals of the project is to explore
the feasibility of Sadri-based basic education, not only in economic but also in
cultural, social and environmental terms.
1 See also

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 7:51 AM
Subject: UNESCO's response to the Recommendations concerning Indigenous People
Dear Advisory Committee Members,

Attached, please find the UNESCO report to UN EcoSoc on it response to the recommendations concerning indigenous people. APPEAL/UNESCO Bangkok’s activities are reflected in the item 16, 17 and 18 (see page 6).

Apologies for cross-mailing.

Best regards,   


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