Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have called on the state Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to direct the state Commissioner for Education to as a matter of urgency include the teaching and learning of Yoruba language in the syllabus of private and public schools in the state.
Raising the motion under a matter of Urgent public Importance, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, Majority Leader of the Assembly, representing Ikorodu Constituency I observed in his submission, the need to introduce and if already existing rejuvenate the teaching and learning of Yoruba language in both private and public schools in the state.
Hon. Agunbiade observed that the use of the Yoruba language both for instructional and learning purposes are already fading out in schools, in preference for English and other foreign languages such as French, German and Mandarin.
He commended the leadership of the House for adopting Yoruba as a language of legislative proceeding every Thursday. He said the initiative which has been on for seven years now is highly commendable and therefore implored the state government to ensure strict adherence as a way of promoting the language, culture, tradition and heritage of the Yoruba people.
Contributing, Hon. Lanre Ogunyemi, Ojo State Constituency 2, pointed out that the Nigerian Constitution makes it mandatory, while UNICEF recognizes the use of indigenous languages in schools. He said, “we need to educate those in education sector about this, especially on the gain of the language as a unifying factor that foster harmonious relationship among individuals and entities in the country”.
He therefore craved the indulgence of the House for stakeholders’ meeting in respect of the need to educate, sensitize and enlighten those concerned on the need to inculcate the teaching and learning of Yoruba language into the syllabus.
Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuoso, Mushin State Constituency 1, stated. that, “Yoruba language should be added to our school curriculum” and advised that, “we need to appreciate and value our language”.
Hon. Segun Olulade, Epe State Constituency 2, described Yoruba Language as a unique one, while its tradition and culture are superb.
According to him, advanced and progressing countries of the world use their languages for instructional purposes; hence, Nigeria should emulate the likes of China and Germany.
Hon. Moshood Oshun, Lagos Mainland State Constituency 2, in his contribution task parents on the use of Yoruba language to instruct their wards. ‘‘As parents, we also have a duty to train our children on the rich culture of the Yoruba which include conversing in the language, ” he said.
In the words of Hon. Abiodun Tobun, Epe State Constituency 1, “we should be careful so that our languages don’t go into extinction”.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, Agege State Constituency 1, while ruling on the discussion, said ‘‘we have forgotten our culture and tradition. We need to appreciate and promote our language. Towards this, we will organize stakeholders meeting on way to promote Yoruba language”.
He subsequently approved the motion, which was overwhelmingly supported by all members to direct the state Commissioner for Education to instruct the inclusion of teaching and learning of Yoruba language in schools, both private and public.