Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The National Institute for Nigerian Languages (NINLAN), Abia State, has pleaded for its inclusion among tertiary institutions in the country that receive Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TeTFund) intervention.
The Executive Director of the Institute, Prof Obiajulu Emejulu, made the appeal when he received in audience the Chairman of the Education Thematic Committee of TeTFund and President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, and members of his committee in Aba.
Prof Ogunyemi was accompanied to NINLAN by other prominent academics in the country, including a former Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Prof Chigozie Aziagbaka; President of the Nigerian Academy of Letters, Prof Francis Egbokhare, and Technical Director of the TeTFund Committee, Dr Andy Iheme.
Prof Emejulu explained that the role and mandate of the Institute were very relevant to the achievement of the academic, technological and economic dreams of Nigeria.
According to him, ‘the Institute is in the process of training students who will graduate to be teachers of sciences using their mother tongue.’
He said the innovation would contribute significantly to advancing the educational, scientific and economic status of the country.
He urged Prof Ogunyemi and his team to see the need to recommend for NINLAN to be mainstreamed in TeTFund stakeholders, stressing that would greatly boost the Institute’s contribution to national development.
The Deputy Executive Director of NINLAN, Prof Solomon Oyetade, that ‘it is possible to teach the sciences in indigenous languages, and that makes for easier understanding by students and pupils.’
He said it was better to teach pupils in their mother tongue than in a learned, foreign language, adding that this has been proved by the countries of the Asian Tigers, whose economic revolution was as a result of their mother tongues to teach their children.
Responding, the team leader, Prof Ogunyemi, expressed positive disposition to the NINLAN request and advised the Executive Director to send the necessary formal proposal to the relevant offices.