The Lagos State Government and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have disclosed that the duo would be joining forces in providing relevant educational learning materials on local language for schools across the state.
They explained that the partnership had been formed in deepening learning of local languages that were being outdated due to the adoption of lingua franca as the official language of communication in Nigeria.
The duo said that the collaboration would be geared towards encouraging teaching and learning of languages in schools, especially Yoruba Language which was the dominant mother-tongue across Lagos state.
The state’s Commissioner for Education, Folasade Adefisayo, who spoke at the hand-over ceremony of Yoruba Early Grade Reading Materials, “Je Ka Kawe” at the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, Maryland, emphasized the need to motivate the younger ones in learning the local dialect.
She added that encouraging the young ones would increase their literacy levels and expand the availability of quality local language teaching and learning materials for pupils within the state.
Adefisayo enjoined parents to work on encouraging their wards in interacting and learning the Yoruba language, adding that such would give them an in-depth knowledge of their ethnic background.
She pledged that more teachers would be recruited to boost teaching of the Yoruba Language while tutorials on the subject would be intensified in the curriculum.
The commissioner commended the laudable initiative and collaboration with the USAID, adding that the gesture was a collective effort that would yield futuristic benefits.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Chairman, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB), Wahab Alawiye-King, stated that the infusion of local languages into the educational system would not only increase the chances of survival, but its introduction as a medium of instruction would aid and help pupils succeed educationally.
He stressed that the formative stage of the child was important and that the local language would help mold and shape their mind, stressing that it was essential to inculcate cultural and linguistic diversity in their learning.
Presenting the Yoruba Early Grade Reading Materials to the state government, Chief of Northern Education Initiative Plus (NEI) Nurudeen Lawal, disclosed that the motive was borne out of the need to achieve positive learning outcomes as the beginning of education was reading, which he said, was critical to national development.
According to him, there will be teachers’ training and guidance on how best the language can be imparted since the materials were developed based on scientific principles and socio-cultural considerations.
“The Yoruba Language Curriculum provided by the Nigerian Educational Research Development Council was meticulously followed in the development of the materials with the full participation of representatives of the Federal Ministry of Education and other stakeholders and were subjected to peer review, field testing and post-field-testing review before the final production,” he said.