The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, says the Federal Government would soon roll out a National Language Policy that will strengthen the learning and teaching of Nigerian languages across all levels of education.
Adamu, who stated this in Abuja at an event to mark the 2017 International Mother Language Day, organised by Federal Ministry of Education, said the move would address the inability of many young Nigerians to speak their languages which supposed to serve as their personal identity.
Represented by the Director of Basic Education, Mr. Jonathan Mbaaka, the minister commended the collaboration of the Linguistic Association of Nigeria (LAN), National Institute for Cultural Organisation (NICO) and De United Foods Industries Ltd, saying that with commitment from all the stakeholders, the general public would continue to be sensitised on the need to appreciate and promote indigenous languages.
On his part, the former Minister of State for Education, Prof. Jerry Agada, who was chairman of the occasion, expressed displeasure at the attitude of many parents, particularly in the urban centres who would not speak their languages to their children in the name of civilisation, describing as shameful a situation whereby people grow up unable to speak their languages.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Jamila Shua’ara recalled that the International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by UNESCO in 1999, adding that the theme of the 2017 celebration was “Towards sustainable futures through multilingual education.”
The Guest Speaker, Professor Harrison Adeniyi, who is the national president of Linguistic Association of Nigeria disclosed that Nigeria has 520 living languages, some with less than 10 speakers; even as a vast number of the minority languages are undocumented.