Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry (Kemendikbudristek) is striving to protect and revitalize local cultural wealth, including native languages, through educational transformation efforts.

"Protecting local languages is not an easy task because many of these languages are starting to be abandoned by the speakers," secretary general of the Kemendikbudristek, Suharti, noted at an event here on Tuesday.

She emphasized that currently, it is vital to protect languages considering that they are starting to be cast aside, both by the older generations and young people.

Hence, the ministry is trying to increase the popularity of local languages, including by implementing the “Artists Go to School” and “Learn with the Maestro” programs, she said.

Both programs provide opportunities for students to study and directly interact with people who have mastered local languages and indigenous arts.

Currently, there are many local governments that are also supporting the schools in their respective regions to protect local languages through various competitions and other student activities.

"We also carry out various language and culture development activities," the secretary general said at the “Acer Edu Summit 2023.”

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According to the ministry’s data, 157 districts/cities in 13 provinces have carried out the native language preservation program, while 39 local languages are being revitalized.

More than 2.9 million elementary and junior high school students, 104,112 school principals and teachers, 2,016 educational supervisors, and 33,764 local language activists have been involved in the implementation of the program.

Furthermore, the ministry also held the “Mother Tongue Conservation Festival (FTBI),” which drew participation from 6,167 elementary and junior high school students and attracted 15,405 visitors.

The ministry has also established a culture endowment fund, Dana Indonesiana, which supports the utilization of the education endowment fund, Suharti said.

"Currently, the collected endowment fund for education has almost reached Rp120 trillion, and the allocation (for the endowment fund) is Rp5 trillion this year (2023)," she added.

The establishment of Dana Indonesiana aims to bolster the advancement of culture.

The fund is also being used to support various cultural organizations, institutions, and spaces as well as the production and distribution of new works, which can enhance national cultural diversity and potentially be showcased on the international stage.

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Translator: Astrid Habibah, Uyu Liman
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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