Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo and the Executive Chairman, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, Mr Wahab Alawiye-King have said the use of Yoruba language will improve learners performance if infused in to teaching.
The duo spoke recently, at the presentation of Yoruba early grade reading materials, ‘Je Ka Kawe’, by the USAIDS to the Lagos State government.
It took place at the LASUBEB office, Maryland.
Adefisayo said, “There is a study that shows that when children are multilingual it helps in performance. We have to start at home and school will now enforce it . Let’s not just make it a policy, let’s practice it. Yoruba is our language, we are born in it. Hiring Yoruba teacher has become a challenge because not so many people are studying Yoruba. We have the policy being put in place but continuity and implementation is the problem. Let’s implement the policy, teaching and speaking of our mother tongue is noble. “
While giving his welcome address, Alawiye-King maintained that the initiative was fully funded by the United States Agency for international Development and developed in collaboration with the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council.
“It is important to state that the infusion of local languages into the educational systems not only increases their chances of survival; its introduction as a medium of instruction helps pupils succeed educationally. Therefore, this huge contribution to the development of education is greatly appreciated and the impacts will be beneficial to generations to come. I have no doubts that these resources will expand the availability of quality local language teaching and learning materials for reading amongst all Yoruba speaking primary pupils in primary one to three in the Southwest, Nigeria and Lagos State in particular.”
Chief Party, Northern Education Initiative, USAID, Mr Nurudeen Lawal, also explained that “The occasion here today is to present the ‘Je Ka Kawe’ to Lagos because the mother tongue is an important part of life. Children should be taught in their mother tongues, the learning outcome in Nigeria is not encouraging. If children can’t read at early age they become frustrated and drop out of school.”