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Problems with the new educational policy

Problems with the new educational policy
Photo by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu- Ask Nigeria

Teaching in indigenous Nigerian languages will be challenging.

Language is important to people the world over. In fact, it is the foundation on which human civilization is built. It is needed in every aspect of human interaction. Even though studies have shown that verbal communication accounts for not more than ten percent of human communication, it is still used at almost every point of human interaction. The paralinguistic information which accounts for about 90 percent of human communication is conveyed alongside verbal communication. However, because language is important, every government, society or institution is trying its best to preserve and promote the indigenous languages from dying.

This is why the Nigerian government has recently adopted a new educational policy that is to be implemented in a few years from now. According to that policy, schoolchildren will be taught in their indigenous language. This is similar to how school teaching is done in countries such as China, South Korea, Japan, India, etc., though a proportion of the population speak English, however small and to whatever extent. Since Nigeria gained independence, the government has in one way or another made efforts to preserve and promote Nigerian local languages in educational policies. The concern(s) about these policies is the implementation and/or their feasibility.

The problem of worldview and appropriate lexicon.

According to Ethnologue, Nigeria has more than 500 indigenous languages. This is second in the world only to Papua New Guinea which has 860 indigenous languages. This is why Nigeria is referred to as a microcosm of Africa in regards to languages. Apart from having so many languages, these languages belong to at least three of the four language families in Africa. What is more fascinating is that each of these local languages has a culture or, most appropriately, a worldview. Language is learned in a culture, hence, its cultural transmission. This means that for a language to be used properly between teachers and students, both of them need to understand its culture and reflect it in the use of the language. This situation becomes complicated when one realizes that the worldview of speakers of a language informs its vocabulary.

For instance, though the English language may have the words “yam” and “pounded” in its lexicon, nowhere in native English usage are those two words combined to make “pounded yam.” Thus, to express the concept, new expressions have to be coined. To put this in the educational perspective, there are words already coined and established in English that local languages in Nigeria lack. So, if teachers are now mandated to teach schoolchildren in their local language, how do they make up for the deficit in appropriate vocabulary? How many Nigerian languages have equivalent words for scientific, sociological or political concepts?

Now that migration and freedom of movement are legal, it is not uncommon.

The law would have worked better in countries like China and Kore, where it appears that the majority of the population speak one language but maybe in different dialects. However, in Nigeria, even the over-500 languages have their own dialect. The Igbo language has dialects. Yoruba does and so does Hausa. The Yoruba language, for example, has dialects based on its geography. But now that migration and freedom of movement are legal, it is not uncommon to find people who speak another dialect in an area where a dominant dialect exists. In fact, it is now much more common to find people of diverse dialects in a particular place. Also, this is assuming that people of different languages will not mix in a particular area.

If the policy is implemented, some dialects will gain prominence more than the others. Some languages, such as the three main languages of Nigeria (Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa), will gain prominence more than Tiv, Ibibio, Anang, Efik, etc. And these are minority languages that we know. Some are so obscure that they have less than 500 speakers worldwide. Those languages are bound to go extinct because the youngsters who are meant to continue speaking the language will be forced to learn another language for educational purposes. Gradually, the language will die off.

Educational policy may be inoperable due to the languages in Nigeria.

Main conclusion that any logical, forward-thinking individual can make from the new educational policy is that it is inoperable in Nigeria because of the number of languages in Nigeria. It will promote some languages over the others. There will be a clash of dialects. People will ask which dialect should be promoted in schools and why that dialect is superior to another. Also, does Nigeria have enough competent teachers who can use these indigenous languages?


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Admin
1
15 days ago

Problems with the new educational policyTeaching in indigenous Nigerian languages will be challenging. – Express your point of view.

Abusi
Member
8
14 days ago

While this is a good educational policy, it will be quite difficult to implement. Nigeria is a country with diverse indigenous languages. We really need to examine the policy very well.

Member
9
14 days ago

Teaching in our indigenous languages would be so hard because we have over 500 languages in Nigeria even the core languages there are several issues that schools are battling to overcome.

Member
8
14 days ago

The proposed is nice, language is important, we must preserve and promote our languages from dying… Likewise, it should be noted that the idea of implementing such policy in Nigeria be questioned!

Member
8
14 days ago

Everyone, no matter where they live, values their ability to communicate. As a matter of fact, it serves as the cornerstone upon which all of human civilization is established.

Member
8
14 days ago

Despite the fact that studies have proven that verbal communication only accounts for a small percentage of total human communication, it is nonetheless employed virtually everywhere human beings engage with one another.

Member
8
14 days ago

Due to the significance of language, every government, community, and institution on the planet is doing everything in their power to prevent the indigenous languages from becoming extinct while also working to conserve and promote them.

Member
8
14 days ago

In addition to verbal communication, the transmission of the paralinguistic information that constitutes a significant portion of all human communication takes place.

Member
8
14 days ago

When one understands that the vocabulary of a language is influenced by the worldview of the people who speak it, the problem immediately gets more complicated.

Member
8
14 days ago

The law would have functioned more effectively in nations where it appears that the bulk of the people speaks the same language, albeit maybe in a variety of dialects.

Member
8
14 days ago

These languages are doomed to become extinct as a result of the fact that the children who are supposed to continue speaking the language will be required to acquire another language in order to fulfill educational requirements.

Member
8
14 days ago

Complicating factors emerge when it is recognized that a language’s lexicon is affected by the worldview of its speakers.

Member
8
14 days ago

Because of the importance of language, every country, society, and institution on the earth is fighting to preserve and develop indigenous tongues to save them from dying out.

Member
8
14 days ago

Although this is a sound approach to educational planning, putting it into action will be rather challenging. There are many different indigenous languages spoken in the country of Nigeria. We absolutely need to do a comprehensive review of the policy.

Member
8
14 days ago

Teaching in indigenous Nigerian languages will be will not be easier there are many language in Nigeria this will serve as chanllege they will face the new education policy is good

Member
8
14 days ago

All across the world, governments, communities, and educational institutions work to prevent the loss of native languages by teaching and fostering them.

Member
9
14 days ago

Teaching in indigenous Nigerian languages will be challenging. The challenges is can only be settled by nowadays parents. English parents
They need to start speaking their indigenous language to their children always

Member
8
14 days ago

To me it is a welcome idea. Already since we fail to adopt our language as a means of communication in our school, our language is dieing. That is why you see someone speaking a language and mixing it up with English language. Either we like it or not if we don’t adopt any language closer to any of the language as means of communication and learning, it just a matter of time, most of the language and culture in Nigeria will be extincted.

Member
8
14 days ago

If we fail to adopt the new system of teaching using our language, their is the possibility of our language going on extinction. Already English language is in most language that we speak. Some people nolonger speak their language but prefer to speak English. If we can adopt language closer to our local dialect, it is possible possible to retain and sustain the language and culture.

Member
9
14 days ago

To my own view any country, society,town that elevate another people’s language more than their own are not ready for development and the example is everywhere to see.Most of the country that are very developed across the globe uses their language 100% for verbal communication.

Member
8
13 days ago

This means that in order for teachers and pupils to communicate effectively in a language, both parties involved must be aware of the language’s cultural nuances.

Member
8
13 days ago

Although this is a sensible method for planning education, putting it into practice will be difficult. Nigeria is a country where a variety of indigenous languages are spoken. Definitely, the policy has to be thoroughly reviewed.

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