TEACHING THE Yoruba language will soon be compulsory in all Lagos public schools.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Nigeria, said that the subject will be taught in primary schools and junior secondary schools across the state.
At a stakeholders forum organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly at Academy Hall in Lagos, Ambode disclosed the need to make Yoruba Language a compulsory teaching subject in all schools in the state.
According to Ambode, the state government equally noted that the imposition of western culture and language on Nigerian children has done a lot of damage to the rich local cultural heritage of the Yoruba people.
Ambode noted that it is important for children not only to learn the language of their environment, but also the culture and people’s general way of life.
The governor added that it is very important for every Yoruba child to be able to speak the language fluently, enriched with adequate cultural norms of the people so as to guarantee a responsible life in the future.
Professor Akinwumi Ishola, a language and culture expert said in a past interview: "China has never lost its culture, the language of instruction from pre-primary to university levels has been Chinese. The child understands better when taught in the mother tongue. China therefore has made enormous progress in science and technology and they are selling this to the world. Nigeria, on the contrary, has been using a foreign language as medium of instruction from the pre-primary to university levels.”
This, he insisted, must change before Nigeria’s indigenous languages can enjoy a pride of place in an age where English rules.