Press release: Preserving the Kadazandusun language

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Tangau (standing centre) with the teacher trainees (squatting) at the opening of the programme.

TUARAN: The Kadazandusun community is in danger of losing its mother tongue as the younger generations are not speaking the language anymore – thanks to the introduction of the Kadazandusun language as a subject in schools there is now light at the end of the tunnel.

Upko supremo Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said the party was thankful that the government had listened and fully supported to the inclusion of Kadazandusun language in the education curriculum.

Officiating at the four-day Kadazandusun language preservation workshop jointly-organised by Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris (Upsi) and SK Kelawat starting from July 31 here Tuesday, Tangau who is Tuaran MP said the spirit of togetherness among the people was an important aspect in nation-building.

“The togetherness spirit knits the community and the government’s recognition that leads to the teaching of Kadazandusun language in schools certainly assist in fostering this spirit,” he said.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation commended Upsi through its Language and Communication Faculty as well as SK Kelawat for the initiative that goes a long way to help address the diminishing Kadazandusun language.

According to him, ever since the introduction of the Kadazandusun language curriculum 57 out of the 75 primary schools and five of the 11 secondary schools in his constituency are offering the subject.

“We can confidently say that the government of the day has helped in mitigating the negative trend. Our language and identity is safe,” he said.

Upko among others had worked hard to pave the way for the Kadazandusun language to be introduced in the national school’s syllabus beginning in 1994 when it was mooted in Parliament by former president now Malaysia Resident Ambassador to the Holy See, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.

For the record, the teaching of Kadazandusun language as a minor subject at the Upsi Perak was also launched by Dompok.

Nine trainee teachers from Upsi took part in the programme involving about 100 SK Kelawat pupils and the local community.

Also on hand was Upsi language and communication faculty dean, Associate Professor Nor Azmi Mostafa.

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