Primary Schools in the South-west geopolitical zone of the country may soon switch to the use of Yoruba language,
their mother tongue, as the language of instruction.
The decision to consider the use of the language was part of the outcome of a meeting on Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) held by South- West Governors in Ibadan, Oyo State capital on Thursday night. Speaking on behalf of the Governors, Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi said a region-wide education summit would soon be hosted by Osun State to look at a mechanism that would allow the region come up with a common curriculum for basic education.
The curriculum, according to Fayemi, would place emphasis on the use of Yoruba as a language of instruction in basic schools across the region.
The National Policy on Education (1976) had recommended that the mother tongue of pupils should be the language of instruction at the elementary education level. Fayemi had at a forum in Akure a few weeks ago held that various researches have proven that pupils learn faster when taught in their first language.
Speaking further on the outcome of the meeting, the Governor said the region was planning an alternative economic framework that will make the knowledge economy, which the region is known for, serve as bulwark against the emerging reduction in the resource-based economy that the country currently has.
“What happens to us? We are being futuristic here. What happens to us as western Nigeria and we are concerned about Nigeria as a country? What happens to us when oil no longer flows or when oil sells for one dollar? Where would the resources come from?
How do we harness the energy of our people, their creativity and innovation as scholars?” Fayemi asked. According to Fayemi, who was joined by his counterparts in Oyo and Osun states, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, other issues raised at the meeting are the exploration of sports as a unifying vehicle for development in the region as well as homeland security framework to forestall any security challenges.