Oyetola has applauded Sanwo-Olu for propagating Yoruba language and culture in Lagos.
By Babatunde Kaka
Eko Hot Blog reports that the Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary of Education District III, Dr Idowu Olufunke Oyetola, has hailed the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu, for his giant strides in educational development, particularly in the propagation of Yoruba language and culture in Lagos.
Oyetola disclosed this at Epe Grammar School on Tuesday, November 29th, 2022, on the sidelines of the celebration of the Yoruba Language and Culture Day organized by the Education District III members of the Egbe Akomolede Ati Asa Yoruba.
She extended her gratitude to Sanwo-Olu for his unprecedented commitment and dedication to the advancement of the education sector in Lagos.
She emphasised that the Governor’s approval of the programme was an indication of his passion for the preservation of the Yoruba culture, traditions, values, and education at large.
“I want to appreciate His Excellency for his remarkable feat in the education sector. If he doesn’t approve this program, it can’t be held because I do not have the authority. I heard people gave me credit for this, no, it’s not me. Many thanks to the Education and Technology pillar of the THEMES agenda of Mr Governor. Mr Sellable prides himself amongst the others in terms of provisions for educational programs and projects, hence, my high praises for His Excellency,” she said.
Speaking further, Dr Olufunke Oyetola underscored the significance of celebrating the program, which she described as a veritable platform for the projection, promotion, and preservation of the Yoruba language, culture, and values.
“We have discovered that so many languages are going extinct. Academic scholars in particular are of the opinion that if the right teaching mechanisms are not in place to address the issues, the Yoruba language would be among the languages that would cease to exist.
“Since we do not appreciate the extinction of our beloved language and culture, we have taken up the responsibility by making frantic efforts to uplift the Yoruba culture by organizing Yoruba Language and Culture Day in Education District III where the importance and benefits of the Yoruba language and culture would be emphasized,” she said.
She emphasised the necessity to prioritise speaking and learning the Yoruba language, especially at home, where young children are raised. She believes that when parents and guardians establish Yoruba communication with their children, the difficulty in assimilating academic activities and instructions at school would have been resolved since the brain would first translate the information from the English language to Yoruba before it could be understood.
Dr Oyetola brushed aside the notion that the Yoruba language is being relegated to the background in schools, especially in terms of application in the classroom as the language of instruction.
She averred that the education curriculum and planning are regularly reviewed to catch up with the other 21st-century countries of the world.
“Just like the other 21st century countries, we’ve implemented the compulsion to learn the Yoruba language from Basic 1-9 in Lagos State and also the language of instruction is the Yoruba language from Basic 1-9. This is not applicable in the Senior Secondary class as it is optional because, for instance, a student who intends to study medicine at the University would be done a great disservice when Yoruba becomes a compulsory subject to study and pass,” she said.
Also, the Guest Lecturer for the day, Alhaji Bakare, a Chief Lecturer in the Yoruba Language Department, Lagos State University of Education, Michael Otedola Campus, Noforija Epe, enlightened the gathering on the dire need to strive to propagate the Yoruba language from home and at school because of its uniqueness, beauty and significance in learning.
Amongst many other issues, the linguist expressed dissatisfaction at the tradition of allocating lesser periods for the Yoruba language on the school timetable, stressing that the period of learning was not helping matters compared to Mathematics and English Language, which are taught in the morning.
“We’ve used the English Language as a yardstick for measuring the intelligence of our students at the detriment of their excellence in the Yoruba language which is unfair. I know so well that those in the informal apprenticeship as mechanics perform excellently compared to Polytechnic students who would struggle.
“It is that apprentice who couldn’t speak English that repairs our cars. We would realize that they are also productive despite their incompetence in the English language.
“It is, however, unfortunate that you and I present here have no authority to rescue such a situation. It has become a critical problem for us. Countries of the world that have advanced in several sectors of human endeavour jealously cherish their language.
“When our people travel abroad to study in non-English speaking countries, they would first learn that local language for months before they are admitted but here, we do not value ours. If we throw caution into the wind, we would begin to pay to study the Yoruba language abroad,” he said.
Earlier, during his welcome address, the President of the Association, Prince Adeyemi Aderemi, appreciated the leadership of the Education District III for her unflinching support while also praising the association members across the district for their commitment towards the success of the celebration.
He also extended his warm regards to the highly revered Oloja of Epe Land, HRM. Oba Dr Kamorudeen Ishola Animashaun, Arolugbade Elepe II, who graced the event with his chiefs as representatives.
Eko Hot Blog reports that the colourful and culturally-rich event, which featured several exciting artistic displays such as drumming, music and dance, chants, quiz, and a feast of local delicacies, had in attendance Yoruba teachers from Epe, Lagos Island, Ibeju-Lekki, and Eti-Osa and as well members of ANCOPSS.
Epe Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) Secretary, Hon. Idowu Shittu (SAICO), All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) President, Mr Akinrinmade, Chairman, Segson Group, Pastor Segun Ogunade, Hon. Bola Iberu and other notable education stakeholders in the community graced the occasion.
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