Indigenous children to benefit from culturally relevant reading material

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, July 19, 2018

Indigenous children will soon benefit from culturally relevant reading materials.

This was revealed today, by Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry at the 12th annual National Toshaos Council (NTC) conference being held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).

According to Minister Henry, this initiative forms part of the Ministry of Education’s effort to preserve the Indigenous languages in Guyana. The reading material will be prepared in four of the local Indigenous dialects and will allow for the smoother delivery of education in hinterland schools.

Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry addressing the delegates at the National Toshaos Council conference

In 2015, President David Granger called for the revitalization of the Indigenous Language Project in an effort to preserve the indigenous language and way of life of Guyana’s first peoples.

The Head of State said that while many of the older generations still speak in their native tongues, the younger generation, however, has not maintained the practice. “It is, therefore, important that those languages be preserved and practised because for many it is the most efficient means of personal communication… we are all poorer when we are not able to communicate with each other,” President Granger stated.

There are nine Indigenous languages; Arawak (Lokono), Akawaio, Arekuna, Carib (Karina), Makushi, Patamona, Wapishana, Wai Wai and Warau. To date, dictionaries have been produced for seven of the nine, leaving the Carib (Karina) and the Patamona languages yet to be completed.

By: Neola Damon

Image: Keno George