The Provost, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education (AIFCE), Owerri, Imo State, Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing Chima Ijioma, has challenged lecturers in the Faculties of Arts/Humanities, especially, those in the Departments of Languages in Nigerian tertiary institutions, to pay more attention in making sure the students learn Nigerian Indigenous languages very well.
Stating this when the keynote presenter and lead paper presenters in the 2012 School of Arts Conference in the College paid her a courtesy call, the Provost said the power in the indigenous language is such that when students are taught at a tender age, they will understand quicker and better, and urged participants to stress on the need for Nigerians to take Nigerian indigenous languages seriously.
She said: “We are happy you are here to keep alive the academic atmosphere that is already flourishing in our institution. I am happy to tell you that school of arts has played a big role in reviving the academic culture in our great institution with its conferences, dramatic presentations, prose and poetic readings. The theme of the conference, “Language and the Arts for Relevant Education in Nigeria,” is apt and very important to Nigeria of today. The challenge I am putting to the keynote presenters and others in the conference is how you will make policy makers and administrators know the extent language, especially indigenous ones and the arts are to Nigeria as a nation. I am looking at a situation where if possible we present papers in our indigenous languages. Also, let the conference not end at the deliberations but further efforts should be made to promote the study of our indigenous languages in schools.”
Dr. Ijioma used the opportunity to let the visitors know that the College will celebrate its Golden Jubilee (50 years), come 2013, as it was established in 1963 as an Advanced Teachers Training College.
Earlier in his remarks, the Dean, School of Arts of the College, Prof. ABC Toni-Duruaku briefed the Provost that the conferees were in the College to brainstorm and come up with solutions to problems facing language and arts in Nigerian education, hence the theme: “Language and the Arts for Relevant Education in Nigeria.”
Led by the dean, many dignitaries who paid the courtesy call are Professor Inno Uzoma Nwadike, the ES, NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, Prof. Inyang Udofot, Dr. (Mrs.) P. A. Nwamuo, SA to ES (NICO), Mr. Nelson Campbell, principal officers and top functionaries of the School of Arts.