Yucatán schools will teach Mayan

The objective is to rescue and preserve the native language of the state

Mayan language teaching to be mandatory in Yucatán
60% of native languages in Mexico may soon disappear - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 07/12/2019 14:55 Notimex Mexico City Actualizada 15:36
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On Wednesday, Yucatán’s Congress approved reforms to the Political Constitution of the State to establish the mandatory teaching of Mayan language in basic education.

The reforms were unanimously approved with the objective of rescuing and preserving the native language of the state, as asserted by local lawmakers during the explanatory memorandum.

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Before the approval, congresswoman Paulina Viana Gómez pointed out that, according to information of the National Statistics and Geography Institute (Inegi), Yucatán is among the states with a higher number of indigenous people on its population, nearly 30% of the total.

Likewise, Inegi said that this state has a higher percentage of population that speaks a native language in Mexico, with over 570 thousand Mayan speakers.

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“However, it is important to point out that the percentage of people who speak Mayan language in the state has been reducing in a constant and drastic way in recent years,” it warned.

This is due to the lack of interest to implement public policies that rescue and strengthen their native language.

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The constitutional reforms approved by all the politic forces in the State Congress look to establish in the basic education system the conditions and procedures to rescue, promote, and preserve Yucatán’s native language.

The reform matches what is established in Article 28, numeral 3, of the Convention 169 on indigenous and tribal peoples of independent countries of the International Labor Organization.

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Likewise, it matches the Article 2, paragraph B, second installment of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States.

The law will enter into force once it is published in the State’s Official Journal, however, it will not be applied immediately but gradually and under the coordination of Yucatán’s Education Ministry.

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