The Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB) says it will put to optimum use, ‘Je ka Kawe’, an Early Grade Reading (EGR) Teaching and Learning Materials (TLM), to boost Yoruba speaking and reading.
The Executive Chairman of the board, Mr Wahab Alawiye-King, made the declaration in Lagos at the official handover of the ‘Je ka kawe’ by the United State Agency for International Development (USAID).
USAID in collaboration with the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), had earlier inaugurated the Early Grade Reading (EGR) Teaching and Learning Materials (TLM) in Igbo and Yoruba Languages: ‘Ka Anyi Guo’ and ‘Je Ka Kawe’ respectively.
“I commend this laudable initiative, ‘Je ka Kawe’, aimed at increasing literacy levels of pupils. Using our indigenous language as the infusion of local languages into the educational system will be beneficial.
“The infusion of local languages into the educational system will expand their chances of survival, while its introduction as a medium of instruction, will also help pupil succeed educationally.
“This huge contributions to the development of education is greatly appreciated as the resources will expand availability of quality local language and learning materials for reading among yoruba speaking pupils in primary 1-3 in the South-West and Lagos in particular, ” Alawiye-King said.
In his remarks, Mr Nurudeen Lawal, Chief of Party of the USAID, said that language is a very important aspect of the curriculum.
According to him, it is the reason the national policy has been emphatic that children must be taught in their mother tongue.
Lawal said the USAID funded initiative was to support the national policy on mother tongue among children, particularly from primary 1,2 and 3, as these levels were very important stages of their academic life.
“The learning and reading outcome in Nigeria is not very encouraging and the quality of education is also low, so we are doing this to support the government in improving the system, particularly mother tongue.
“It is most important that children should be able to read in early age, because the contrary might lead to frustration in learning and might lead to dropping out of school at that stage,’’ he stated.
He said there was need to teach children in the mother tongue, a language that they would understand, grow, succeed and be able to channel the knowledge to other subjects, to complete their education.
This he said, is very critical for national development.
The USAID representative added that the initiative which yielded significant result when introduced in Hausa language in the states of Bauchi and Sokoto, contained teachers’ guide and principle of learning.
Also Mrs Chineye Nwokorie, representative of the Federal Ministry of Education, urged stakeholders to join hands to promote mother tongue through the ‘Je ka Kawe’ by producing more copies.
Nwokorie said that the availability of large number of the copies was essential to reach out to schools and teachers in Lagos, while other states in the South West should follow suit in the vision.
Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, applauded USAID and NERDC, saying that parents should always speak and make Yoruba language compulsory in homes.
She said it would help the children flow, love and read the language in school and communicate with people from the tribe in and outside the country, just as they interact in English language.