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Stakeholders Want Schools To Provide Support For Teaching Indigenous Languages

Stakeholders in Abuja on Thursday say schools should provide supportive learning environment for teaching of indigenous languages to reinforce the parents’ efforts.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) they said that schools serve the supportive role by providing appropriate language programmes that would fascinate the students to learn.
The stakeholders said that this would go a long way to strengthen the indigenous languages used at homes.
Mr Evans Opara, the Vice Principal, Academics, Faith Academy Secondary School, Goshen, Abuja said that the school had appropriate policies, programmes and practices adopted to enrich the educational, linguistic and cultural development of students.
“These we hope will promote the daily use of indigenous languages throughout the country and that our educational institutions will support us in perpetuating our languages.
“Along with these programmes are a set of general recommendations aimed at stipulating the kind of steps that need to be taken to achieve the goals that have been outlined.
“We also have reference materials to assist in enriching the future well-being of students as well as the environment that provides a natural context for language teaching and learning,’’ he said.
Venerable Gabriel Adelekan, the Principal of Anglican Comprehensive Secondary School Kpegyi Abuja, said that the school was making every effort to utilise locally relevant curriculum materials with which students learn local languages.
“In our school, we offer Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages and provide opportunities for children to participate in purposeful conversation with others under supportive, non-threatening circumstances.
“We make effective use of language expert whenever local language and cultural knowledge is being addressed in the curriculum.
“The school has an easily accessible repository of indigenous language resource materials and knowledgeable expertise that make use of locally produced materials in the local languages such as videos, maps, books and even tribal documents.
Adelekan however advised schools to endeavour to have teachers with reading and writing proficiency in local languages to serve as models and be able to assist students in developing their own literacy skills.
Mrs Ebere Iyeke , a parent said that parents were the first teachers of their children who provided the foundation on which the language learning of future generations rested.
She said that parents could strengthen their local languages by taking proactive roles in promoting the learning and use of the language at home and in their communities.
“They should provide a loving, healthy and supportive environment for each child as a natural part of growing up, making sure they hear and speak the language from prenatal through to adulthood.
“Parents should also read materials and sing to children in their languages whenever possible and believe in their children’s ability to learn the language and encourage and support them in doing so.
“Children should be persistent in the practice of the language, even when embarrassed to speak in the presence of fluent speakers,’’ she said. (NAN)

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