May 12, 2020
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first_imgAs Guyana celebrates Amerindian Heritage Month, Executive member of the PPP Dr Frank Anthony believes that Government should be steadfast in promoting the various Amerindian languages.PPP Member of Parliament, Dr Frank AnthonyAccording to Dr Anthony, many of the words accepted in today’s society have been derived from native languages of the Amerindians, and thus more effort should be invested into promoting them.Many of the languages are deemed endangered, threatened, or vulnerable; and this has been confirmed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).UNESCO’s reason for the classification of these languages comes from the steady decline in the amount of persons speaking indigenous languages, and cases wherein teaching these languages is not undertaken.“This year, I wished that more emphasis could be placed on promoting the different Amerindian languages. In Guyana, the value of these Amerindian languages has mostly gone unappreciated… Currently, UNESCO has flagged these languages as critically endangered, threatened or vulnerable. This is because there has been a steady decline in the number of persons speaking the languages, and in many cases there isn’t any serious attempt to teach the languages to the current generation” Dr Anthony related.In addition, Dr Anthony is of the view that Government should make all attempts to invest resources which will be used in a long-term basis in conserving these different indigenous Languages.“The Government of Guyana must have a clearly articulated policy, and must set aside the resources to ensure that the policies and programmes are implemented correctly in the various communities. For some time now, I have been advocating for the creation of an Amerindian Language Institute staffed with linguists who can conduct research, develop teaching material, and use it to teach the languages to the various communities,” Dr Anthony revealed.Dr Anthony also pointed out that the Government, together with the Amerindian leaders and other associations, should make promoting the Indigenous languages a matter of urgent national conversation.“Our Amerindian leaders, academia, civil society and Government must have an urgent national conversation on what can and should be done for the promotion of these languages. As we celebrate the Amerindian Heritage Month, one of the best ways to do so is to take concrete steps to promote the linguistic heritage of our Amerindian communities,” he advised.last_img