Norway facilitates translations into Uzbek.

Photo by Jerry Wang on Unsplash

Learning in the mother tongue at an early age has a positive impact on future academic achievement.  130 children books have been translated into Uzbek. This is an initiative of the Ministry of Public Education of Uzbekistan. Its partners are UNESCO and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).

Uzbekistan was the first country to complete the translation of over a hundred books. This is a part of a new phase of the Translate a Story initiative. Furthermore, the books are publicly available to use by schools and families in Uzbekistan.

The official online launch was organized on 14 December 2020. It brought together the representatives from the Ministry of Public Education of Uzbekistan, Norad, and UNESCO.

The launch was the important opportunity to recognize the achievements of Uzbekistan in the cooperation project.

Importance of mother tongue

“Linguistic diversity of resources available is critical to the quality and relevance of education,” said Ms Stefania Giannini, the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education. “It is well-established that learning in the mother tongue at an early age has a positive impact on future academic achievement.”

The situation with school closures heightened the need for reading material accessible at home. “The lockdown even increased reading activities of families in Uzbekistan. 41% of parents reported that they were doing more reading with children now”,  said Mr Jan Hladík, the Head of the UNESCO Tashkent Office.

H.E. Mr Rustam Karimjonov, the Deputy Minister of Public Education of Uzbekistan, said that translated books would be hosted on the national platform.

Global Digital Library

The translated books are available on the Global Digital Library (GDL) which provides access to free, high-quality, early grade reading resources in languages that children use and understand. The GDL currently offers 5000+ books in 72 languages.

The books are divided into different levels of difficulty. Boos on the first level one contain easy words, word repetition, less than 250 words. On the other hand books on level four have longer, more nuanced stories and are more than 1500 words. There is also a «Read Aloud» section which contains long stories recommended to be read aloud for children.

More on the Translate a Story campaign >>