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SIL Malaysia to participate in first-ever Malaysian Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on Education

Malaysian Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Education 2007 logo(April 2007) The first Malaysian Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on Education (MIPCE) is being held 23–30 April. Planners of the event anticipate 5,000 to attend the first day. This symposium will open doors to more opportunities for language development and true multilingual education (MLE) in the many minority languages. The Guest of Honor, Y.B. Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Bin Tun Hussein, Malaysian Minister of Education, will officiate during the opening ceremonies.

This MLE symposium is designed to raise awareness with regard to mother-tongue education for ethnolinguistic minority language communities in Malaysia.

Symposium sponsors (Bahasa dan Kebudayaan Iranun, SIL Malaysia and Kadazandusun Language Foundation) are working jointly to organize this MLE symposium that will include two days for leaders who come from the local languages, including those with language-based projects where SIL is working as consultants. Each of the approximately 35 Malaysian minority languages as well as national and state governments have been invited to send representatives.

Keynote speakers will be Dr. Sheldon Shaeffer, UNESCO Regional Director; Dr. Larry Jones, SIL International Asia Area Director; and Dr. Edilberto de Jesus, Director of SEAMEO Secretariat. Plenary speakers will be: Y.B. Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Hj Mulia, Chairman of the Institute for Development Studies (Sabah); Y.B. Tan Sri Bernard G. Dompok, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department; Noki Martin, Maori Lecturer at Whitireia Polytechnic, Wellington, NZ; Ripeka Martin, Project Manager, Maori Research in Learning Media (Government Publications), Wellington, NZ; Dr. Suwilai Premsrirat, Mahidol University, Thailand; Dr. Susan Malone, SIL International Consultant and Multilingual Education Consultant; and Dr. Kimmo Kosonen, SIL Representative to UN Agencies in Asia.

The second part of the symposium, 28–30 April, is intended mainly for practitioners and members of minority language communities. The workshops offered will focus on indigenous minority peoples interested in jump-starting language development work in their languages. Topics include Beginning Orthography Development and Writing, Beginning a Playschool and Listening Stories, Pre-primer Preparation for Kindergarten, Anthropology Through Indigenous Eyes, Indigenous Children’s Music and Movement, and Study of Music in Your Culture.

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