Sunday, April 14, 2024

Approval of Garifuna Language in Schools Program

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Press Release – February 27, 2024 – Belmopan, Cayo District- The Garifuna Language Commission is proud to announce the Ministry of Education’s approval of the Garifuna Language Curriculum, the related Professional Development Plan, and the implementation of the Garifuna Language in Schools Program. This significant milestone marks a pivotal moment in the preservation and revitalization of the Garifuna language and culture.
In a historic meeting between the Garifuna Language Commission and the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Education Officer of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology, held on February 26, 2024, approval was granted for the use of the Garifuna Language Curriculum in the teaching of the Garifuna Language in Schools Program. This approval comes after years of dedicated effort and collaboration between the National Garifuna Council and the Battle of the Drums Secretariat.
The Battle of the Drums Garifuna cultural retrieval and preservation initiative, established in response to the decline observed in Garifuna culture, has been working tirelessly since 2006 to retrieve, preserve, and promote key aspects of the Garifuna heritage. Recognizing the urgent need to address the deterioration of the Garifuna language, the Battle of the Drums and The National Garifuna Council collaborated in creating an initiative to prioritize the establishment of a standardized Garifuna language in schools’ program across southern Belize.
The Garifuna Language Curriculum and its accompanying Professional Development Plan, developed by the Garifuna Language Commission, which was formed by The National Garifuna Council and The Battle of Drums Secretariat, signify a major achievement in the ongoing mission to reclaim and safeguard the Garifuna language. The curriculum will serve as a cornerstone in ensuring the preservation of the language for future generations, reinforcing its significance as a fundamental element of Garifuna culture. The Professional Development Plan will ensure the building of human resource capacity to enable efficient and effective service delivery while allowing the participants to attain CPD credits.
The implementation of the Garifuna Language in Schools Program will initially commence in the communities of Barangu, Peini, Senbeidi, Georgetown, Dangriga and Yugadan, with plans for expansion in the future. This initiative underscores the collective effort and commitment of the Garifuna community to uphold and revitalize our ancestral language.
The National Garifuna Council and the Battle of the Drums Secretariat express their profound gratitude to all individuals and organizations involved in the development of the Garifuna Language Curriculum, the Professional Development Plan, and the framework for the Garifuna Language in Schools Program. Sincere thanks as well to the Minister, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Education Officer of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology for the approval granted. Together, we have taken a monumental step forward in securing the survival and vibrancy of the Garifuna language and culture.
For further inquiries or interviews, please contact Ms. Sheena Zuniga, President – National Garifuna Council at 613-9802, or Mr. Darius Avila, President – Battle of the Drums at 615-0140.

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