July 23, 2024

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IMLD: Kalejaiye calls for adoption of Yoruba as language of instruction in schools, homes

2 min read

Mojisola Lawal
As the world celebrates 2020 International Mother Language Day every February 21, community head of Otumara 11, Ojo-oniyun, Apapa road and its environs, High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye has called for the adoption and promotion of Yoruba language in schools and homes to save the indigenous language from going into extinction.

Kalejaiye made this call in his speech during this year’s International Mother Language Day in which he observed that Yoruba language is fading off as a language of choice especially among the younger generations.

He informed that Yoruba language which is the most popular dialect in Nigeria is spoken by over 25million speakers from Republic of Benin, Togo, Sierra Leone, northern Ghana and Cuba.
He however called on government at all levels to take proactive steps towards the adoption of the language as one of the languages of instruction in schools.

While also encouraging parents to speak Yoruba language to their children at home, he said, “We are blessed as indigene of Yoruba nation which has its language and culture adopted by countries of the world.

But as beautiful as Yoruba language and culture are, it is unfortunate that it is fast fading off as language of instruction in homes and schools. This is because many parents prefer the use of English and other foreign languages as language of communication which hinders the ability of their children to understand and speak Yoruba fluently.

Our language is the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our cultural heritage.

Let me acknowledge the efforts of our entertainers particularly the movie makers and hip-hop singers who through their films and songs have expressed and showcase the beauty of Yoruba language and culture to the world.

They have done their bits and this is appreciated. The time is right for the government to introduce Yoruba and other local dialects as languages of instruction in our schools from primary to tertiary levels.

If China as the most populous nation on earth can adopt their language in their schools, there is nothing stopping Nigeria, which is the most populous black nation on earth from doing so. We need to preserve our language and cultural heritage from going into extinction. It is our identity. It is who we are therefore we must preserve it for generation to come.

As a matter of urgency, the government must enforce policies on education that will positively promote the teaching and learning of indigenous languages in schools across the country.

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