The Chairman, Ondo State Teaching Service Commission, Dr. Bakita Bello,has advocated the use of indigenous language as a prerequisite for admission into Nigerian universities and other institutions of higher learning, as language is a veritable instrument for identity and national cohesion.
Dr. Bello, who made this remark on Wednesday, February 5, at Oyemekun Grammar school, Akure, during the closing ceremony of the Schools Culture (Asa) Week, encouraged parents to always make use of their indigenous language as the first language at home and if possible, their local dialect.
The Chairman, who was represented by Commissioner 1 in the Commission, Dr. Niyi Ikuemelo, cited the example of his son who was born abroad but is able to speak not just the Yoruba language but his local dialect, implored the authorities not to relegate Yoruba language as a means of communication in the school but rather put emphasis on it to make it a prerequisite for admission into the university.
In the same vein, Mr. Olu Atere, the Chairman, Egbe Akomolede Ati Asa Yoruba, an association of Yoruba teachers, also commended the school for organizing the programme, which is aimed at promoting the language and culture of the Yoruba race, and pledged his unflinching support to the teaching and study of the Yoruba language in schools.
Also speaking, the Head, NICO South-West Zone, Mr. Ohi Ojo, commended the principal, and appreciated the teachers and students for putting up the programme, and used the opportunity to inform the audience on the continuation of the NICO Weekend Indigenous Language Programme, which had commenced on the 23rd November, 2013, at Fiwasaye Girls’ Grammar School, Alagbaka-Akure, from 10.00am-12noon on Saturdays and 2.00pm-4.00pm on Sundays.
Highlights of the ceremony include cultural displays by invited secondary schools, inauguration of Oduduwa Club, and presentation of honorary awards to deserving guests, including the Director of Culture, Ondo State Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Lawrence Amimi and the Assistant Editor, Culture Desk, Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC), Mrs. Adebimpe Akindele.
In the entourage of the Zonal Head to the occasion were, Mrs. Ruth Oyenekan, Head, Orientation and Cultural Affairs; Mrs. Ogechukwu Nwokorie also of Orientation and Cultural Affairs; and Miss Folashade Oladejobi of the Corporate Affairs Unit.