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A MOTION ON THE NEED TO MAKE THE TEACHING OF OUR NATIVE LANGUAGES COMPULSORY IN BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN AKWA IBOM STATE

aniekan-ukoSPONSOR: RT.HON (ELDER) ANIEKAN UKO

Mr. Speaker/Distinguish Colleagues,

THE HOUSE:

■ Notes that language is a very important means in the preservation and transmission of one’s culture and identity.

■ Further notes that by speaking our indigenous languages our culture, tradition, and identity are being preserved, owing to the fact that people’s culture, tradition and values are best passed on from generation to generation using the mother tongue.

■ Aware that the child’s first language is critical to his or her identity, and that maintaining this language helps the child value his or her culture and heritage which contributes to a positive self – concept.

■ Appreciates that in 1999, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), proclaimed February 21st of every year as the International Mothers Language Day, which is set aside to celebrate all the languages spoken all over the world with the aim of promoting the right of the people to use indigenous languages (Mother Tongue) as means of encouraging integration in all aspects of public life, particularly in education.

■ Acknowledged that the 2014 National Policy on Education (NPE) indicated the importance of language as means of promoting mutual relationship, unity and preservation of culture and should be taught in schools.

■ Concerned that with the depreciation of interest in the speaking of our native languages in our homes, and with the way our native languages are being handled in schools, our culture and identity faces the threat of extinction.

■ Worried that unlike in the past, primary and secondary schools, especially private schools nowadays no longer teach native languages, or may have expunged them from their curriculum.

■ Futher worried even at homes, parents no longer speak our native languages with their children, but always seen encouraging them to speak English thereby relegating our native languages to the background.

■ Disturbed that if this trend is allowed to continue; our culture, tradition, values and our unity as a people will be threatened, and our native languages would have gone into extinction with the death of the older folks.

IT IS HEREBY MOVED THAT THIS HOUSE RESOLVE TO:

1. Direct the State Ministry of Education to re-introduce native languages as a subject in the school curriculum.

2. Direct both public and private schools to make native languages compulsory subjects for students especially from primary to junior secondary classes.

3. Urge parents to encourage their children to speak our native languages by communicating with them in our native languages at home.

4. Direct Ethical and Attitudinal Re – Orientation Commission (EARCOM) to launch a “BRING BACK OUR LANGUAGE” campaign in the state.

I SO MOVE.

I remain in my Honour,

Rt.Hon.(Elder) Aniekan Uko
I have the mandate of my people (Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency) to speak in this hallow chamber.

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