Lagos partners USAID on language literacy

Folasade Adefisayo, Lagos State Commissioner for Education

As part of efforts to encourage the teaching and learning of languages in schools, especially Yoruba Language which is the dominant mother tongue of the State, the Lagos State Government has collaborated with the United State Agency for International Development, USAID towards providing educational learning materials to schools.

Speaking during the Hand Over Ceremony of Yoruba Early Grade Reading Materials, “Je Ka Kawe” at the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, Mary Land, the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo stressed the need to motivate the younger ones to learn the mother tongue, adding that it will increase their literacy levels and expand the availability of quality local language teaching and learning materials for pupils within the State.

Adefisayo spoke extensively on the need for parents to encourage their wards in interacting and learning the Yoruba Language as this will give them an in-depth knowledge of their ethnic background.

The Commissioner assured that, to stem the tide of the dearth of the Yoruba Language and having semi lingual children, more teachers will be recruited while the teaching of languages will be intensified in the curriculum.

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Adefisayo concluded her keynote address by commending the laudable initiative and collaboration with the USAID, adding that the gesture is a collective effort that would yield futuristic benefits.

Earlier in the programme, the Executive Chairman, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB), Wahab Alawiye-King stated that the infusion of local languages into the educational system will not only increase the chances of survival but its introduction as a medium of instruction will aid and help pupils succeed educationally.

The Executive Chairman stressed that the formative stage of the child is important and this will help mold and shape their mind emphasizing that it is essential to inculcate the cultural and linguistic diversity in their learning.
Presenting the Yoruba Early Grade Reading Materials to the State Government, Chief of Northern Education Initiative plus (NEI) Mr. Nurudeen Lawal expressed that the motive was born out of the need to achieve positive learning outcomes as the beginning of Education is reading, hence critical for National Development.
Mr. Nurudeen reviewed that to achieve this, there will be teacher’s training and teacher’s guide on how best the language can be imparted. He revealed that the materials were developed based on scientific principles and socio-cultural considerations.

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“The Yoruba Language Curriculum provided by the Nigerian Educational Research Development Council was meticulously followed in the development of the materials, with the full participation of representatives of the Federal Ministry of Education and other Stakeholders and were subjected to peer review, field testing and post field testing review before the final production.” He enthused.

In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs Abosede Adelaja opined that the society has a role to play using our language as an identity and stressed that the State Government will utilize its resources to expand the availability of quality local language teaching and learning materials for reading amongst pupils.

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