The umbrella body of publishers in the country, Nigerian Publishers Association, NPA has commended the federal government for granting approval for teaching in mother-tongue in primary schools across the country, saying it is timely and a way to advance the education sector.
NPA says the government’s policy is in line with the association’s calls for adoption of indigenous language in the teaching of science in primary and secondary schools, even to the tertiary institution as a sure way in raising the bar of teaching and learning as well as promotion of mother-tongue.
In a statement on Thursday signed by the association’s President and Chairman-in-Council, Dr. Uchenna Cyril Anioke, it said with this singular move, the country will be on its way to joining global powers who have advanced in science and tech, as well as medicine as the pupils will assimilate better in mother-tongue than in English which is a borrowed language.
He said North Korea which is becoming the world strongest nuclear force hardly writes in English language but in their local language where according to him they hide their ideas and innovation from those who do not understand the language.
“There is abundant evidence to show that nations who teach and publish books in their local languages are advantageously positioned than those who rely entirely in English language. India which today has become a choice place for medicine teaches and publishes more in mother-tongue than English language.
“China is a developed country and leads in construction and infrastructure. They hardly speak English and all their books are in local language. In Indonesia, which is also a developed country, teaching and learning is conducted in indigenous language.
“Nigeria can actualise this and as an association, we welcome the policy of teaching in indigenous language in the first six years of the pupils’ education. It is in tandem with our prolonged appeal.
“As modalities to put this into practice begins soon, we as an organisation with the cardinal focus of contributing to national development will assist in publishing books that will aid implementation of this policy.
“We are hopeful that it will be a quantum leap in our educational development as well as a broad pathway towards achieving the much desired breakthrough in medicine, science and tech and indeed in other fields of human endeavour” he stated.
Recall that the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu had on Wednesday announced the approval at end of the Federal Executive Council at State House Abuja.
“A memo on national policy was approved by the council. So, Nigeria now has a National Language Policy and the details will be given later by the ministry.
“One of the highlights is that the government has agreed now that henceforth, instruction in primary schools; the first six years of learning will be in the mother tongue,” the Minister said.
He said the decision is only in principle for now as it requires a lot of work for implementation.