Nigeria Approves Mother Tongue as Compulsory in Primary Schools

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Adamu Adamu

The government of Nigeria has approved a new National Language Policy making the various mother tongues compulsory medium of instruction from primary one to six.

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, noted at a State House briefing, that the policy takes immediate effect.

He added that the government is aware that its implementation will be difficult but it is necessary to promote the cultivation and use of all Nigerian languages.

According to the minister, at least 29 languages have become extinct, leaving the country with 625 languages.

To this end, he said that the mother tongue will be used exclusively for the first six years of education, and then combined with the English language from Junior Secondary School.

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Adamu said even though the policy has officially taken effect, it can only be fully implemented when government develops instructional materials and qualified teachers are available.

He further explained that the mother tongue to be used in each school will be the dominant language spoken by the community where it is located.

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over the Federal Executive Council Meeting on Wednesday.

In attendance were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as well as other cabinet members. The ministers include Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; Education, Adamu Adamu; Power, Abubakar Aliyu; state for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva; Ministers of Transportation, Muazu Sambo; Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, George Akume.

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Others are Ministers of Niger Delta affairs, Umana Umana; as well as Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo.

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