Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Tuesday directed that students in public and private schools in the state should sing the National Anthem in Yoruba Language daily, to preserve and promote the Yoruba culture. The Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule, relayed the directive at a meeting with Principals and Head Teachers of public schools in Lagos.
She said that Yoruba Language would also be made a compulsory subject for students. Gov. Ambode had signed the Yoruba Language Preservation and Promotion Bill into Law on Feb. 8. Adebule said that Wednesdays had been declared ‘Yoruba Speaking Day’ in schools, with all teaching and learning activities from assembly period to closing being done in Yoruba.
”Gov. Ambode wants me to pass this message to you, that henceforth, Yoruba language be made compulsory in both private and public schools. ”The National Anthem must be sung in Yoruba on a daily basis too.
The Egbe Akomolede has done the translation and we will send the copies of the Yoruba version to your schools by Monday so you can begin to teach the students. ”I have also met with the owners of private schools and we have relayed this directive to them.
We are also considering translating the textbooks of other subjects into Yoruba Language because I believe that when students are taught in their mother language, learning will be easy and their level of performance will improve. ”The state government is passionate about this Law, so we do not lose our language, culture and heritage,” she said.
Adebule said the Ministry of Education was doing an assessment to ascertain the number of Yoruba teachers that would be required to effectively teach the language in public schools. She appealed to the school managers to cooperate with the government to drive and ensure the effective implementation of the Yoruba Language Preservation and Promotion Law.
Mr Lanre Ogunyemi, Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Education, said at the event that the development would be beneficial to the younger generation and generations unborn.
”In Finland, you must pass the Finnish Language before you are offered admission into high institutions. Same is done in Germany, China and other developed countries.
We need to adopt such to drive development and foster national unity. I beg you all to key into this law and make it work, ” Ogunyemi said.
Reacting, Mr Mamodu Braimoh, Assistant Secretary, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Lagos Chapter, commended the state government for the development. Braimoh appealed to the government to ensure adequate training for Yoruba teachers as well as provide incentives to motivate them.