By Benjamin Njoku
Worried by the declining use of indigenous languages, especially the Yoruba, D.O Fagunwa Foundation, has announced its commitment to promote the use of indigenous languages in schools in line with the National Policy on Education, especially in the South West.
At a press briefing yesterday in Lagos, on the D.O. Fagunwa Memorial Lecture billed to hold on Monday, December 7, Chairman of the Foundation, Mrs. Ibukunade Sijuwola, disclosed the foundationâ€™s plan to ensure a re-introduction of the study of Yoruba Literature into the school curriculum.
According to Sijuwola, â€œschools in the country today are not implementing the policy which made it mandatory for children of nursery school age up till primary three to be instructed in their mother tongues in schools.
A situation, where our young ones cannot communicate in their mother tongues effectively, adding that the foundation is taking steps to see that the use of the indigenous languages as contained in the National Policy on Education (section 2 paragraphs 14C on page 12) is fully adopted in Yoruba land. We hope to call a stakeholders’ conference as soon as possible to discuss the way forward.â€
On the annual lecture, Sijuwola said Professor Bisi Ogunsina, a professor of Yoruba Language, Literature and Culture, at the University of Ado-Ekiti, Ondo State would deliver this yearâ€™sÂ lecture on Yoruba Philosophy in the Novels of D.O. Fagunwa: Implication for Indigenous Language Teaching in Nigeria.
Mrs Sijuwola, noted thatÂ Professor Ogunsina would be â€œlooking at Fagunwaâ€™s works as it relates to the youths, its relevance as a veritable tool in improving the usage and understanding of the language.â€
On his part, Chairman, Coordinating Committee of the Lecture Series, Chief Olu Falomo said, the lecture series, which is in its third year, would feature â€œintellectuals who will be discussing problems that affect all of us. On the choice of the guest lecturer, Falomo said, the guest lecturerÂ Professor Ogunsina carried out a comprehensive study on the works of D.O Fagunwa.â€