The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology, Tuesday (22/2) launched the program “Revitalization of School-Based Regional Languages and Speech Communities” to respond to the critical condition of regional languages in Indonesia. Of the 718 regional languages in 34 provinces, 25 regional languages are threatened with extinction, 6 are declared critically and 11 languages have become extinct.
Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Mendikbudristek) Nadiem Makarim stated that many regional languages in Indonesia are in critical and endangered condition. The main reason is that the native speakers no longer use and pass their language on to the next generation.
“If you don’t use it, it will automatically disappear in the next generation,” said Nadiem Makarim in the virtual launch of Merdeka Learning Episode 17 with the theme “Revitalization of Regional Languages,” Tuesday (22/2). Language revitalization is an effort to create new forms and functions of a language that is threatened with extinction.
In 2022, the number of regional languages that will become objects of revitalization will reach 38 regional languages spread across 12 provinces, including Sentani language in Papua, Toraja language in South Sulawesi, Sasak language in West Nusa Tenggara, Batak language with Angkola dialect in North Sumatra. .
The target of the program includes 1.5 million students in 15,000 schools as well as 29,000 teachers and 17,000 principals, including 1,491 speech communities who are involved in developing regional language learning models and formulating linguistic and literary local content.
Nadiem Makarim explained that Kemendikbudristek designed three revitalization models that were adapted to field conditions. If the life force of the language is still safe with a large number of speakers and is still used as the dominant language in society, the inheritance is carried out in a structured manner through school-based or school-based learning.
“And for a model where the risk of extinction is very high, the number of speakers is very small, our approach is through community and also learning that points to two or more families as models for learning places,” explained Nadiem Makarim.
Through the program “Revitalization of School-Based Regional Languages and Speech Communities” it is hoped that students will be more proud to use local languages in communication both orally and in writing.
At the end of 2022, the revitalization of regional languages will be celebrated at the national level through the Mother Language Tunas Festival (FTBI) which carries seven activities including traditional songs, speeches, storytelling and reading and writing regional scripts.
11 Regional Languages Have Extinct
The Head of the Center for Language and Literature Development and Protection, Kemendikbudristek, Imam Budi Utomo stated that based on the 2021 Language and Literature statistics, there were eleven regional languages that had become extinct because there were no more speakers. Of the 11 extinct regional languages, eight are regional languages from Maluku, and the other three come from North Maluku, Papua and West Papua respectively.
In addition there are 25 regional languages that are in danger of extinction because all speakers are 20 years old and above and they are few in number, while the older generation does not speak to children or among themselves.
“In Indonesia, there are 718 regional languages, these have been mapped by the Language Development and Development Agency up to 2019 yesterday from 2,560 observation areas,” said Imam Budi Utomo at the Regional Language Maintenance seminar through Digital Dictionary Development, Saturday (19/2).
Based on the distribution, Papua has the most regional languages with 325 regional languages, followed by West Papua with 103 regional languages.
According to UNESCO, in the last 30 years, there have been 200 regional languages in the world that have become extinct. Every February 21, the world celebrates International Mother Language Day. [yl/em]