Over the past three years, the Central Highlands provinces have been implementing measures to preserve spoken and written ethnic minority languages.

The Central Highlands comprise the five provinces of Lam Dong, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Kon Tum with a population of 6.5 million. Forty-five percent of the population is made up of ethnic minorities, including the Bahnar, Jrai, Ede, and Sedang ethnic groups.

According to the region’s Steering Committee, 1.4 million students registered for the 2014-2015 academic year, with 461,000 students belonging to ethnic minority groups. On average, the number of ethnic minority students increases by 10 percent each year.

Kon Tum and Gia Lai provinces added Bahnar and Jrai languages to the curriculum for 3 rd -5 th graders at 121 primary schools. Ede is now taught at 92 primary schools and 13 high schools in Dak Lak province.
Students have also benefited from free textbooks and documents in their mother tongues.

Additionally, ethnic minority language courses have been offered for officials and civil servants to improve their communications with locals.

The Central Highlands provinces also worked with ministries and research institutions to publish Ede-Vietnamese and Bahnar-Vietnamese dictionaries and bilingual books that were distributed to local communities.

At present, Kon Tum and Lam Dong provinces are designing textbooks in Sedang and Churu to expand the coverage of these languages.

Joining the localities’ efforts, the bureau of the Voice of Vietnam now broadcasts news in Bahnar, Ede, Jrai, M’nong, K’ho, and Sedang, the region’s predominant ethnic minority languages.

Each month, the Vietnam News Agency provides 18,300 free copies of the pictorial “Dan toc va Mien nui” (Ethnic Minorities and Mountainous Region), written in Bahnar, Ede, Jrai, K’ho and M’nong, to schools and villages throughout the Central Highlands.-VNA