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St. Catherine Academy at 140

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Culture Curricula

LettersCulture Curricula

Dear Editor,

Looks like the thing most near and dear to people’s concern these days next to the need for clean air and open government is the idea of suing the government. Your correspondent Mr. Wellington Ramos (Amandala, Friday, December 2) made it his third option in the list of actions he saw as necessary to enable the Garifuna people “… to learn how to speak, write, read and write [their] language…”

That’s a long drawn-out process, costly for sure, and with no guarantee as to what the outcome will be. Nor is there any likelihood that the target beneficiaries, the Garinagu themselves, will abide well another government mandate. There’s a quicker, more certain successful path to the cultural eminence he has in mind: let the home become the incubator as opposed to the classroom; the one begins at birth; the other sometime later when the child has already begun its experiment with some other linguistic forms of communication. Here’s how it’s done:

We lived beside a Hispanic family in Oklahoma City (an English-speaking community). The parents absolutely allowed no other language to be spoken in their home but Spanish, and they only went to Spanish-speaking churches. The English the children learned was learned at school, the supermarket and the park. No, they would not leave the golden opportunity of bringing up the child in the cultural way before they entered an indifferent and ephemeral school system.

Nor can the Garinagu or any other ethnic group here in Belize seeking language parity take the easy way out of what has to remain a family affair.
Hart Tillett

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