UN’s International Day of Indigenous Peoples is held annually on 9 August. Every year, the day is centred around a theme and this year it is education.
As reports from around the world show, there is much room for improvement regarding indigenous peoples’ access to education.
One major issue is the lack of native-language instruction. 370 million indigenous people speak the majority of the world’s 7000 languages and although the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states that they have a right to be educated in their own languages, this is not always possible. Often there is a language barrier in the classroom, as there aren’t enough well-trained teachers, textbooks and other resources available to provide mother-tongue education to indigenous children. Without instruction in their native language, they often lag behind and miss out on higher education and even secondary schooling!
If you’d like to learn more about this international day and today’s events that raise awareness of the issue, you can find more information on the UN website.
Source of image: Wikimedia Commons