By Usman Shuaibu
A University lecturer at the University of Abuja, Prof. (Mrs.) Appolonia Uzoaku Okwudishu, has called on the authorities of educational institutions to deem it fit to infuse indigenous languages into curriculum in the interest of Nigerian students.
Mrs Okwudishu who made the call while presenting the 31st inaugural lecture entitled “No Language Left Behind: Indigenous African Languages, Educational Policies and Sustainable Development” at the main campus of the University on Thursday, also urged the management of the colleges of education and its faculties to deem it necessary to inculcate into their curricular the training of tutors of indigenous languages.
She further charged the government of the day as well as the stakeholders in education to give the necessary support of all kinds to the National Institute for Nigerian Languages (NINLAN) for the continued Professional development and retraining teachers of indigenous languages.
Her words: “Each Nigerian University should have a Centre for Research, Documentation and Development of all indigenous languages of the environment in which it is domiciled”.
She said: “The NERDC should be strengthened to coordinate the development of more orthographies of indigenous Nigerian languages as well as the curricular for the teaching of the various mother tongues”.
This, according to her, consideration should be given to the need to reposition the Nigerian Pidgin English as one of the official lingua franca, with institutional commitment to developing a standard orthography to facilitate the production of creative works in pidgin English.
While fielding questions from newsmen after the inaugural lecture, the Professor appealed to the parents to speak native languages with their children.
Mrs. Okwudishu, who is a Professor of Language Education, however, called on the Nigerian authors to publish books on indigenous languages for the benefit of Nigerian child yet unborn.
In his remark, the Vice-chancellor of the University, Prof. Michael Adikwu who the chairman of the occasion, was impressed with the presentation of inaugural lecturer.
Meanwhile, a plaque was presented to the inaugural lecturer by the representative of the Vice-chancellor.