News @ USP

Tuvalu Campus celebrates International Mother Language Day

Back to News »

Tuvalu students perform a traditional dance during the International Mother Language Day celebrations at USP’s Tuvalu Campus.

Staff and students of The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Tuvalu Campus celebrated International Mother Language Day on 24 February 2017 in Tuvalu.

UNESCO celebrated the International Mother Language Day (IMLD) on February 21, 2017 under the theme “Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education”. To foster sustainable development, learners must have access to education in their mother tongue and in other languages. It is through the mastery of the first language or mother tongue that the basic skills of reading, writing and numeracy are acquired. Local languages, especially minority and indigenous, transmit cultures, values and traditional knowledge, thus playing an important role in promoting sustainable futures.

The celebration, which was organised by USP Student Association at Tuvalu Campus, included cultural dance performances, poster displays on the theme and poetry recitations.

Acting Campus Director and Chief Guest of the occasion, Dr Rosiana Lagi spoke about the importance of observing the day, and said that the day is celebrated to ensure that our mother tongue, Tuvalu language or the Vosa Vakaviti does not become extinct.

Such observance days are vital in reminding people of the significance of their mother language.

This year’s theme for the International Mother Language Day was ‘Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education.’

Dr Lagi said that Multilingual Education will assist in the maintenance of our language, culture, knowledge and skills in the future so that future generations can know and enjoy it too.

While talking about Multilingual Education, Dr Lagi said that it promotes awareness in Linguistic, Cultural Diversity and Multilingualism.

She highlighted that, “our mother language or mother tongue is an important tool for our survival.”

According to Dr Lagi, it is through mother tongue that people learn:

  • Acceptable values, norms, behaviors and traditions;
  • Traditional knowledge and skills that they need to use daily for their survival;
  • How to communicate respectfully with others;
  • Their relationship with other people and responsibilities towards them; and
  • How to think critically and make wise decisions

She also stressed the importance of learning other languages and added that this will help people understand other cultures and traditions and learn to respect others and live peacefully with them. 

Around a hundred (100) students, parents and staff of the Tuvalu Campus took part in the celebration.

This news item was published on 3 Mar 2017 02:40:40 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

News @ USP


Disclaimer & Copyright | Contact Us |
© Copyright 2004 - 2019. All Rights Reserved.
The University of the South Pacific
Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji
Tel: +679 323 1000