As Nigeria joins the global community to mark World Mother Tongue Day, the Federal Government has been urged to enact a policy that would promote the use of local languages in teaching especially in the nation’s elementary schools.
Some respondents in Enugu metropolis made the call in a chat with Radio Nigeria.
The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO celebrates World Mother Tongue Day on the twenty-first of February annually to remember the killing of four Bangladesh students in Eastern Pakistan in 1952 who organized a protest requesting to be taught officially in their mother language.
The day which aims at encouraging people globally to maintain the knowledge of their mother tongue while acquiring basic education also calls on government and non-governmental organizations to encourage the use of local languages to teach in schools to enable school children to achieve sustainable future.
The Enugu State Commissioner for Education, Professor Uche Eze noted that it was necessary for children to be educated in their immediate local language as it would enable them to understand the culture of their community.
For the Principal, Government Secondary School, Enugu, Mr. Clement Ojukwu, appling local languages to access education aside English Language is a welcome development but has certain challenges.
The National Chairman Association of Igbo language and Culture, ASLAC, Mr. ChineduOfformata regretted that adopting a policy on using local language in the Nursery and Primary levels of the education system may not be fully realized as most people had no interest in promoting Igbo language.
Some parents interviewed, agreed that they ought to be their children’s first teacher, but said that Igbo vocabulary was incomplete and had made it difficult for them to get certain words in Igbo language for their children.
The theme of this year’s event is “Towards sustainable futures through multilingual Education”.