Fred Ezeh, Abuja
National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has asked for collaborative effort from relevant stakeholders to correct communication disorder particularly among the children.
Its director, Port Harcourt Study Centre, Prof. Shirley Yul-Ifode, stated this in Abuja, on Thursday, while delivering the 14th Inaugural Lecture of NOUN themed “The child beyond the breath of life: Our corporate concern.”
Yul-Ifode who is a professor of Applied Linguistics in Child language and Communication Disorder, said that communication is the bedrock of academic excellence, but unfortunately, it has been highly neglected in Nigeria and the consequences go beyond communication hence need for action.
She said: “The question of communication disorder has remained unanswered not because many of them have no answers, but because there is a very minimal concern for them in Nigeria.”
She added that some multi-disciplinary forums are still needed to brainstorm on the way forward for Nigerian child. “This is particularly needed in the spirit of globalisation, of which we have read and heard much about, but with less action in the area of the special child with communication needs,” she added.
She further disclosed that there were many children with communication disorders in different communities of various degrees who cannot communicate effectively through the medium of language with other users of the target language, adding that there is urgent need for collaboration in Nigeria.
She added: “It is through such collaborative interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary studies/works that we can apply a number of our disciplines to real life situations. Otherwise, we would end up only in our classrooms and desks. A single discipline cannot adequately address the subject of child language and communication disorders.”
Earlier, the vice-chancellor of the university, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, said in his remarks, that communication is very important for academic and moral development of children.
He suggested that adequate attention be given to it to protect the future generations from language disorder.