Buffalo City Metro (BCM) had the privilege of hosting this year's International Mother Language Day at the East London International Covention Centre (ICC), on Wednesday 21 February 2024.

This year’s International Mother Language Day is under the theme “Multilingual Education – A Pillar of Learning and Intergenerational Learning”.

The focus was on the progress on the advancement of the adoption of the Department of Basic Education’s Mother Tongue Based Bilingual Education (MTBBE) programme. The theme was declared by UNESCO to promote the improvement of learning performance through the adoption of a multilingual approach to education, to emphasize the mother language- based teaching, learning and assessment in public schools.

Welcoming the guest to the Metro, Acting Executive Mayor, Councillor Malibongwe Mfazwe said the UNESCO Creative City of Literature was delighted to hold this year's commemoration of the International Mother Language Day.

"This year's theme aims to address language barriers in economic activities, educational institutions, and workplaces alike," said Mfazwe.

"By leveraging technology, we can advance multilingual education initiatives, thereby fostering safer and more inclusive communities, " he added.

Minister of Education, Angie Motshekga delivered the keynote address where she announced the rollout of bi/multilingual education which encourages schools to use more than one language of learning, teaching and assessment.

"The Department of Basic Education strives for an equitable and inclusive multilingual education. However, there are many learners who are not reaping the benefits of a multilingual learning environment," she said.

"Accordingly, we plan to introduce the teaching and assessment of Mathematics and Natural Sciences in Indigenous African languages for grade 4 and above starting in 2025," said Motshekga.

Different exhibitors had stalls put up at the hall, displaying books written in different South African languages.