This article deals with the advantages of mother-tongue education at all levels of formal training. It departs
from the point of view that the medium of formal instruction can be a facilitator or a barrier to educational
development and, later, to one’s basic rights and privileges as well as political and economic participation.
Accepting that the concept of mother-tongue instruction has problematic dimensions, educational and noneducational
arguments are presented in support of mother tongue instruction, followed by a brief overview of
empirical research that demonstrates its fundamental role in education. The article concludes with a list of
obstacles that need to be addressed if the principle of mother-tongue instruction is to be effectively marketed
to educational decision-makers.