From ROSE EJEMBI, Makurdi.
The Benue State Government says it is already working to ensure that the three major indigenous languages in the state (Tiv, Idoma and Igede) are taught in all schools across the state in line with the new National Policy of Education on the teaching of mother tongue at Basic education level.
Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Dennis Ityavyar disclosed this at the grand finale / award presentation of the maiden edition of Benue Inter-Secondary Schools Cultural Essay Competition organized recently by the office of the Queen of Culture and Tourism.
Ityavyar explained that the Ministry, in collaboration with the Standing Committee on the teaching of these languages have mapped out various strategies for the successful implementation of the Programme which is being vigorously pursued.
While commending the Queen of Culture, Miss Mimi Pine for setting the pace in that regard, the commissioner called on other relevant stakeholders to join hands with the ministry in the onerous task of bringing indigenous languages in the state at par with, or among other major ones in the country.
“From the records, this is the first time our students are being challenged to write an essay in English and translate same into their respective mother-tongues which I believe is a welcome development that should be encouraged.”
Earlier in a remark, the Queen of Culture said the idea was borne out of a desire to express, as well as showcase the rich cultural heritage which had been suppressed for a long time by western culture and trends.
While lamenting the rapid departure from speaking indigenous languages at home, in school, in church and other public places, Pine however applauded the educational sector in the state for striving to promote the teaching, reading and writing of indigenous languages of the state.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of prizes to three students who performed very well in the essay competition including Eje Freedom from Mt. St. Gabriel’s Secondary School, Makurdi, Msurshima Comfort from Bristow Secondary School, Gboko and Danladi Amina from St. Monica’s Girls’ Secondary School, Otukpo.