by caleb NOR
The Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has again stressed the need for parents to place priority on teaching their children indigenous languages.
Ayakoroma stated this in Abuja on Bush House Nigeria, a radio programme on Kapital FM 92.9, saying that parents need to be proud of their indigenous languages and urged them to take advantage of the platform provided by the Institute for parents to learn indigenous languages.
According to him, if parents do not imbibe the culture of speaking indigenous languages to their children, the incursion of various foreign cultures through different media will continue to take its toll on our local languages, where people will no more be proud of what is Nigerian.
The NICO Boss who said music, foreign movies and language, among others, are the common ways through which our indigenous cultures have continued to be invaded by foreign cultures, called on broadcast media regulatory agencies in Nigeria, like the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to ensure that broadcast materials are adequately censored.
He also lamented the situation where Nigerian youths now look at the way artists are costumed in musical videos and see such appearances as the way of life, not realizing that costumes and accessories are worn for performances and that such appearances should not be taken as reality.
The Executive Secretary however said that parents are liable in a situation where children prefer to speak English other than their mother tongue. He blamed parents, saying that in most families, they (parents) communicate with their children in English language other than their local language which leaves the children with no option than to embrace foreign languages at the expense of the local language of communication.
He disclosed that baring non- availability of funds, the Institute will consolidate on the achievements recorded from the four weeks intensive long vacation Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) where people come to learn languages other than theirs, through the introduction of a weekend programme.
According to him, the Institute will collaborate with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), as the Director_General, Brig_Gen. Maharazu Tsiga, has approved the deployment of corps members (who are language graduates) to facilitate the NICO indigenous language programme at the various study centres across the six geo-political zones in the country to include Abuja and Lagos, since NICO staff cannot drive the project alone.
He further disclosed that the Institute is looking at ways through which state governments can also partner with NICO in the establishment of study centres. “We need the state governments to support us, we need a state office and a study centre where these languages will be thought,” he said, stressing that the languages to be taught will not be restricted to the local language(s) of the state but other languages in the country.
He informed that Institute will open six more state offices in 2011, one in each of the geo-political zones, so that NICO programmes can spread down to the grassroots.