The Federal Government is considering the usage of indigenous languages in teaching science subjects in primary and secondary schools, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has said.
Speaking on Friday during an interaction with pupils of Ekulu Primary School, Enugu, Onu said that the move would make pupils and students get more interested in science subjects.
He said that a survey on some great countries of the world revealed that they used indigenous languages at very early stages of their education.
“Our ministry has looked around the world how nations attained greatness and all the countries that are doing very well use indigenous languages at very early age in the teaching of science and mathematics.
“In Nigeria, we just have to do that. We are at the levels of discussions now because it is something we need to work with other relevant ministries.
“I believe that in future that is the direction Nigeria will go because we do not want our boys not to be interested in science and mathematics,” he said.
The minister said that the process would involve strengthening and further development of indigenous languages to accommodate emerging science vocabularies.
He said that such action would also save local languages from extinction.
“Nigeria will be better served when we are able to use our resources to develop the country instead of sending them to other countries,” he said.
Onu said that for the country to be truly great and respectable in the comity of nations, it should be able to feed and provide housing for citizens.
“We should be able to stabilize our currency and the only way is through science and technology.
“It is my duty to move us in this direction so that our people will have jobs.
“All the countries that manufacture what they need, create jobs for the citizens, but in Nigeria we export our jobs by patronizing foreign goods,” he said.
He said that no single nation became great without embracing science and technology, stressing that “I am here to prepare you to be great scientists”.
Earlier, the Chairman, Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB), Chief Ikeje Asogwa, called for emphasis in the study and promotion of basic science and mathematics at basic and post-basic levels of education.
Asogwa said that there should also be a way of sustaining the interest in the subjects through continuous programmes of exposure at secondary and technical school levels.
“The reality is that while these great countries are export driven economies, we remain an import dependent economy. So a peep into the future should be scary to all of us,” he said.
Asogwa said that the minister had taken bold steps to reverse the course for the country by activating the interest of pupils in basic science and mathematics.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister donated a set of computer and mobile science laboratory to the school.
The event also featured a question and answer session between the minister and the pupils.