Hanoi , February 21 (VNA) – The Ministry of Education and Training, the UNICEF and UNESCO offices in Vietnam jointly held a ceremony in Hanoi on February 21 in response to the International Mother Language Day 2013.

Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Thi Nghia emphasised the importance of the mother language, which, with its communication, information and education functions, contributes to the development of each individual and the whole community.

“We encourage teaching in the mother tongue, which facilitates the fight against illiteracy and contributes to the quality of education,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova says in her message on the day. She calls on all UNESCO partners, authors and teachers all over the world, in universities, the UNESCO chairs and Associated Schools to work together to promote the importance of linguistic and cultural diversity and of education in the mother tongue.

Participants at the event shared experience in using the mother-tongue language in improving the quality of education and the living standards and welfare for children in particular and the community in general.

Vietnam boasts experience in using the mother language in the teaching and learning of ethnic minority students. With the UNICEF support, the Ministry of Education and Training has been implementing an initiative on bilingual education based on the mother language since 2008 in some kindergartens and primary schools in Lao Cai, Gia Lai and Tra Vinh provinces.

First launched in 1999, the International Mother Language Day has been observed every February 21 since 2000 to raise awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.-VNA