If we need English for communicating with the outside world, would not it be a good idea to teach our children in our Towns to learn how to be fluent in our mother dialects also? There are so many people, both adults & children in Honiara ( I know because there are alot that I know) who are good with English but they can not speak their own mother dialect. They are usually like strangers when they go home to the villages because they can not communicate that well in the villages. Children have problem in communicating with grannies.
Not only do we neglect to teach our children our mother dialect but we also neglect to teach enough of our local history in our primary & secondary schools. When we just empahsis only the foreign language & history to our Children, is it a surprise that our children do not have great affiliation to the rural issues in our country?.
We must encourage mother dialect for all in our country and give as an option to study English for some. Yes, English is an option. There are other options. China & Japan have major economic influence in our region. Most of the goods that they sell in Australia, NZ and alot in USA are from Asia. English is not the first language of these Asian countries but they have the economic muscle. They have alot that we can learn. Even the Quantas Airline in Australia talks in the media about contacting the Engineering Department to Asia. The nerve centre for the remote service of all the computers that use the Norton Anti-virus software in Asia & Pacific (including NZ and Australia) is done from Bangalore in India. You just watch the cursor on your computer as the Technicians from The IT Hub of Bangalore works to fix your software from India. These examples tells us that we must also be interested to only in English and also have an interest in the Language of the Asian countries also.
What if we provide an option in our schools to even learn chinese & Japanese language?. If these countries have major economic influence in our region, shouldn't we be interested in talking with them?
Sapala idea nomore ologeta wantok.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Samuel Gilamola and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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