There is a popular saying that, “To whom much is given, much is expected”, played out on May 27, 2017 at Saint Mathias Anglican High School, Akure, the Ondo State capital, as the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), South-West Zonal Office, joined children all over the world to mark this year’s Children’s Day celebration.
The choice of the school for this year’s celebration was a show of appreciation to the age-long citadel of learning, which always provides the Institute’s South-West Zonal Office facilities for usage during the one month-long and Weekend Indigenous Language Programme.
Speaking during the occasion, the NICO South-West Zonal Coordinator, Mr. James Imohiosen, reassured the students present that the day was set aside worldwide to celebrate children because of their importance in nation building.
He noted that it was so designed that children grow up to replace the vacuum created by nature; hence, the huge investment by government and their parents in celebrating them; and enjoined them inculcate the right social and moral values and shun any vices that would be detrimental to the image of their parents, the school and the society in general.
Mr. Imohiosen admonished the students to avoid peer groups that would have negative influences in their lives but rather emulate the quest for knowledge and humility displayed by their principal, who has enrolled newly to learn Hausa language in the Institute.
He once again used the opportunity to thank the school management for always obliging the zonal office the use of the school facilities whenever the Institute requested for their use, saying this shows the importance the school had placed on the advancement and development of indigenous language.
On his part, the school principal, Venerable Joseph Ilesanmi, thanked the Institute for the worthwhile gesture of making the school a centre for teaching indigenous languages in Ondo State, and also finding them worthy of celebrating with in this year’s Children’s Day, saying, “It is a mark of great honour and joy in the heart of the children”.
Venerable Ilesanmi said his desire to enrol for Hausa language was borne out of the fact that there has been a growing agitation to teach some science related subjects in indigenous languages as it is done in some developed nations, such as, China.
Highlights of the occasion were revision of languages taught during the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP), (Month-long and Weekend programmes), recitation of rhymes in various languages – Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and Izon.
It would interest to note that one of the female students, Miss Aanuoluwapo Oladimeji, stood in to teach the other students including the newly enrolled school principal, Venerable Joseph Ilesanmi Hausa language before the arrival of the Hausa teacher, which was commended by the school principal, the South-West Zonal Coordinator, and the Hausa teacher, Mrs. Flora Sodje.
The occasion, which was well attended by members of staff from NICO South-West Zone, saw the Children later moving to the school auditorium where they were entertained and they sang praises of the Institute for remembering them on this very special and important day.