PALAU CLASSES PROTECT THREATENED LANGUAGE


PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT

Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i

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PALAU CLASSES PROTECT THREATENED LANGUAGE
Program offers language, culture to kids

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon
KOROR, Palau (Island Times, June 6, 2011) – This summer, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs have collaborated to conduct Palauan Language program for kids.

The program starts today at Bai ra Maibereal [meeting house], near the Bureau of Lands and Survey building.

Children ages 6-9 are welcome to participate in the program that will be from 9 .m. to 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided for student participants and the organizers.

In the program, the children will also be taught chanting, spear fishing, weaving basket, singing and dancing Palauan dances and learn Palau roles for boys and girls.

The program will continue until June 30.

In related development, the House bill to mandate instruction of written Palauan language in schools already passed the House. The bill has yet to get the Senate’s consensus.

Floor Leader Gibson Kanai, Del. Marhence Madrangchar and Del. Tmewang Rengulbai introduced the bill in December last year with the intent to preserve Palauan language.

Currently, only public schools are required to teach Palauan language. Because of this, the delegates believe that many students in private schools may never learn to read or write in Palauan.

House Bill 8-117-14S, HD1 states that written Palauan language shall be mandatory part of the core curriculum for the 1st through 12th grade for every school chartered in the Republic or funded by public funds.

The bill explains that by requiring early formal education in Palauan, children will better understand their Palauan background and identity.

Island Times
© 2011 Island Times. All rights reserved

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