BY DOTUN IBIWOYE
Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Prof. Sola Adeyeye, has expressed hope that the National Assembly will soon work towards passing enabling laws that will solidify the learning of French language in Nigeria.
This was in reaction to request by Prof Samuel Aje, Director General of the Nigeria French Language Village, NFLV, Badagry, Lagos, for the Senate Committee to help the institution in ensuring that it lived up to the purpose of its establishment.
Aje said universities and colleges of education have been taking their students to unrecognized and privately owned centres across the border like Cotonou and Port-Novo which parade questionable staff with curricular that are distracted from the stipulated minimum academic standards of both the National Universities Commission, NUC, and the National Commission for Colleges of Education , NCCE.
According to Adeyeye, the draft bill of the law had been considered by the Federal Executive Council and it is at the level of the National Assembly for consideration, assuring that NFLV will have a full backing of the law.
The Senator said moment the laws are passed, it will guarantee the certification of French learning from the institution and that students from our various higher institutions of leaning can adequately study French language in the country without going abroad.
“I was very glad that one of my colleagues pointed out that the management here ought to have been up and doing to make sure that the enabling act is passed because with out that, this can be misconstrued as an illegal entity, but we all know the French village is legal, so we will commence preview it, he said
He added: “We know that it is their temporary site, we have gone to the village beyond here to see the proposed permanent site. When the French village was established back in 1991, the idea was that this site will be temporary. But as things often happen because of resources, the permanent site is yet to take off.
According to the Prof Aje, the institution is the only place in West Africa where interpreters are trained. “The Nigerian French Language Village is the only place in the whole of West Africa where interpreters are trained. Since 1991 till now when this institution was established, there was no other institution of its kind in any part of the world. Over 16 square kilometre permanent site, at Irosu near Owode border in Badagry courtesy of the Lagos State Government, he said.
“There is an immediate need to take possession and help solve the problem of inadequate space on the permanent site. The present take-off site is fully built up and can longer expand horizontally, we are now restrained to vertical expansion. The french Village is also faced with the challenge of some institutions ferrying their students to unrecognized and privately owned centres across the border ft places like Cotonou and Port-Novo.