As part of efforts to encourage the teaching and learning of languages in schools, especially Yoruba Language which is the dominant mother-tongue of the State, the Lagos State Government has collaborated with the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, towards providing educational learning materials to schools.
Speaking today during the hand-over ceremony of Yoruba Early Grade Reading Materials, “Je Ka Kawe” at the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, Maryland, the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, stressed the need to motivate the younger ones to learn the mother-tongue, adding that it will increase their literacy levels and expand the availability of quality local language teaching and learning materials for pupils within the State.
Adefisayo, who spoke extensively on the need for parents to encourage their wards in interacting and learning the Yoruba Language as this will give them an in-depth knowledge of their ethnic background, promised that more teachers will be recruited to boost teaching of the Yoruba Language while tutorials on the subject will be intensified in the curriculum.
The Commissioner commended the laudable initiative and collaboration with the USAID, noting that the gesture is a collective effort that would yield futuristic benefits.
Earlier, the Executive Chairman, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB), Mr. Wahab Alawiye-King stated that the infusion of local languages into the educational system will not only increase the chances of survival but its introduction as a medium of instruction will aid and help pupils succeed educationally.
Alawiye-King stressed that the formative stage of the child is important and this will help mould and shape their minds, emphasising that it is essential to inculcate the 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) Mr. Nurudeen Lawal, disclosed that the motive was borne out of the need to achieve positive learning outcomes as the beginning of Education is reading, which is critical to National Development.
Lawal averred that there will be teachers training and guidance on how best the language can be imparted, noting that 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 explained.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Abosede Adelaja, opined that society has a role to play using our language as an identity, stressing that the State Government will utilise its resources to expand the availability of quality local language teaching and learning materials for reading amongst pupils.