The Minister of Education, Dr. Vasant Bunwaree, last week announced his "National Forum" on the mother tongue in schools for 31 August, and LALIT on Sunday launched a nation-wide campaign of bill posting in favour the introduction of the mother tongue as medium in schools. While the Minister is proposing debate on the introduction of Mauritian Creole and Bhojpuri as "optional subjects" in school, LALIT is calling for the mother tongues to be introduced as medium, and not to be relegated to this marginal position as "ancestral languages" alongside the "Oriental languages".
LALIT's campaign will be its first poster campaign since the Government's repressive clamp-down following LALIT's successful campaign "Bizin Plant Manze, lor later Tablisman" (Plant food crops on the sugar estates' land!). The Ministry of Tourism employed contract labour to go and paint big black crosses over posters. Then, the Government has instituted very high fines. Now it has installed rather bland "notice boards" here and there for the use by the public. However, these are very unevenly spread out. It seems that the Government didn't want tourists to see posters (an "eyesore"), so there are only these "notice boards" on main roads. Even then, they are few and far between in some areas. For example, in central Port Louis there are none. The present LALIT campaign is using these "notice boards".
The two slogans on the posters are: "Aret fer ditor zanfan lekol: Introdir lang maternel" (Stop harming school children: Introduce the mother tongues!) and "Bizin Introdir Lang Maternel KREOL & BHOJPURI kuma medyom pu montre Maths & syans, Lir & Ekrir, listwar, etc e moderniz metod montre Angle, Franse, Lang Oryantal" (Introduce the mother tongues, Kreol & Bhojpuri as medium for teaching Maths & Science, Reading and Writing, history, etc and modernize teaching methods for acquiring English, French and Oriental languages.)