The Lagos State government has expressed optimism that the usage of Yoruba language in schools will boost the academic performance of students. It said this to add more voice to the implementation of the Yoruba Language Preservation and Promotion Law in the state.
The Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Education, Adebunmi Adekanye made this known at the Commonwealth Day celebration held at Oregun Senior High School, Lagos.
EduCeleb.com recalls that after the new law was passed, the state government mandated that all school activities in every Wednesday will now be conducted in Yoruba language. The law also provides that Yoruba became a prerequisite for admission into state-owned tertiary institutions.
While a study by Professor A.O Olanrewaju in the 1980s showed that teaching students school subjects in Yoruba had some significant effect on their performance, another study in 2014 by Shola Olanipekun and others showed that there was no significant difference in the performance of students taught in either English or Yoruba.
But Adekanye firmly believes there would be a difference and improvement in students’ performances when taught in Yoruba.
In her words, “This will in no small measure help your comprehension and assimilation of lessons and invariably improve the overall academic performance of the education sector. There is no gainsaying that all the developed nations of the world were those who taught their children in their mother tongue”.
Mrs Adekanye added that she was impressed by the various activities that the students had put up to drive home the theme of the celebration. According to her, the drama, dance drama, coral, cultural dance and unity dance especially the flawless rendition of the Yoruba version of the first and second stanza of the National Anthem showed their ability at comprehension and dissemination of information within a short period. This, she noted will play tremendous role in the promotion of the Yoruba language.
The Permanent Secretary said, the theme of this year’s commonwealth celebration “Towards a Common Future” was apt, given the prevailing world dynamics. She advised that, to build a common future the people have to imbibe the spirit of selflessness, think globally, and live in peace with ourselves, neighbours and everyone that we relate with.
Students were enjoined to stop bullying, shun examination malpractice, sexual, physical and mental abuse drug and cultism if they cherish their future and wishes to be in the league of players who will direct the affairs of the nation, nay nations.
Adekanye reminded them that they owed this nation and humanity responsibility to rescue the victims from abusers.
“Building a Common Future to my mind starts with ensuring that everyone young and old enjoys peace of the mind devoid of any form of torture,” she enthused.
At the competition held within the celebration, Education District IV came first while Districts 1 and V clinched the second and third position respectively.
Also speaking at the event, the Director of Co-curricular in the ministry, Mrs Marrion Babs-Akinyeye said the Commonwealth Day celebration has become another avenue to discover the hidden talents of our students and develop the existing ones which according to her has been doing the State proud in many fronts at local and international levels.