By Atabor Julius, Lokoja.
Against the backdrop of some languages at the risk of going extinct, Kogi state government has approved a curriculum for the teaching and learning of Igala and Ebira languages.
This was as the state hosted the 45th annual convention of Yoruba Language Teachers in the basic, secondary and tertiary institutions across the country held at the Federal Government Girls Science Secondary school Kabba, Kogi state.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya who was elated at the conduct of the participants conduct the activities only in Yoruba language through out the sessions charged them to marry language and culture for the development of the society.
Osikoya disclosed this in her office yesterday in Lokoja, while receiving a report of the committee to fashion out Kogi state curriculum for Igala and Ebira indigenous languages.
She noted that the essence of education is for the transformation of the total culture of the society to a child through spoken language for the transmission.
According to her, child at birth comes in contact with the outside world through symbols, signs, letters and other materials used for communication.
She stressed that the National Policy on Education which was first convened in 1977 as a result of some grievances for the mode of the colonial master’s education system for the country came out with resolutions for states to use indigenous languages as means of transmitting instructions to children at the basic education levels.
Osikoya explained that the promotion of indigenous and culture is meant to bring about the total development of the characters and personality of the child.
She said to this end, Kogi state government had constituted a committee to draft a curriculum for Igala and Ebira languages of which the committee have submitted its report adding that the Okun in Kogi had already been captured under wider Yoruba Language with her already established curriculum.
She commended the chairman of the committee, Dr. Friday Eneojo Ikani and his team for a painstaking assignment, saying that they were able to accomplish the task within the record time for their passion for the mother languages.
She equally commended the governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello for giving her the latitude to injects ideas at solving problems that have bedeviled the educational sector.
According to her, “whenever Kogi educational sector is mentioned across the country, some people would have to adjust their lenses. In the light of this ugly trend, the governor graciously approved the framework for the transformation of the sector.”
While promising to table the report to the governor, said after necessary study on the report, the government will forward it to Nigeria Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) for ratification.
She called on the committee to avail the government the availability of the textbooks on the subject matter and where and how to source them promising to involve the State Printing Press in the publication of the books to maximise profit.
Earlier, the Chairman of the committee Dr. Friday Eneojo Ikani thanked governor Yahaya Bello and the commissioner for the opportunity given to them to serve their fatherland.
He advised the government not the keep the report on the shelf, rather to pass the report to the appropriate federal government agency for adoption into our education system.