By Lanre Adesanya
The United Nations Information Center (UNIC) has enjoined Nigerian students to embrace their indigenous Languages, as it remains a veritable tool for grooming good citizens.
UNIC Lagos Director, Ronald Kayanja made this known at the 2017 International Mother tongue day,theme:Towards Sustainable Future through Multilingual Education, organized by the UNIC and the Lagos State Education District 1, held at Government College Agege.
The United Nations had set aside February 21st as the International Mother Language Day in 1999 to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
Mr Kayanja noted that indigenous languages help students to understand the beauty of their cultural heritage.
“It is very important for students to learn and speak their mother language in school and that is one of the targets Lagos state Government is trying to achieve”
“Any child who doesn’t understand any concepts in is mother language may find it challenging to grasp in any other language”
“Nigerian languages and culture are very rich, but we can lose it if we don’t encourage our children to speak and to understand where they were coming from”
“I commend Lagos state Government for fulfilling number 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals”.
In her remarks, Tutor-General and Permanent Secretary of Education District 1, Dr. Folayinmika Ayandele said that the aim of Lagos State government is to encourage students to cherish their mother tongue.
“Henceforth, We would ensure that our school assembly is being conducted in Yoruba Language every Thursday, just like the Lagos state house of assembly is doing”
“No more will our teachers be ashamed to speak our language in our schools, either in Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa and the rest, which will be a thing of Joy”.
“I want to encourage our parents to teach and allow the children to speak our indigenous languages because our culture is rich and we should be proud of it”
The high point of the event was the unveiling of new learning material on Yoruba language and culture, for use by the 99 Government-owned secondary schools in the Education District.