The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has said that NICO will take its Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) to another level by partnering experts on the use of modern technology for learning of languages.
Stating this when the Management of Mavis Computel Ltd, Abuja, visited him at NICO Headquarters in Abuja, Ayakoroma, who is also an Associate Professor in Nasarawa State University, Keffi, said the Institute will look at its curriculum and see whether it was in tandem with the materials produced by the technologists
Mavis Computel demonstrated before the ES and some members of Management Staff, its innovative work on three Nigerian: Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa Language and French, how such languages could be taught and learnt through easy-made technology.
Urging them to provide opportunities for Nigerian languages other than the three major ones, Ayakoroma said that it was necessary to promote Nigerian Indigenous Languages with such technological devices, describing the concept as highly innovative.
His words: “This idea is quite innovative and it shows we have high capacity in technology. It is quite commendable. It can help Nigerians learn our languages easily. NICO’s Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) is an effort to teach Nigerians and even non-Nigerians our indigenous languages. In the NICO Training School programme, you learn a language other than your Mother Tongue. That is, if you are Yoruba, you cannot learn Yoruba; rather, you learn Igbo, Ijaw, Hausa or any other language. The idea is for Nigerians to understand Nigerian languages other than their own. This will foster unity in the country. So, it is important that you produce for other languages, for instance, Ijaw, which is the fourth major Nigerian language; then Efik, Tiv, Gbagyi, Fulfulde, and so on.”
Observing that the device would be beneficial to families, the NICO ES described Nigerians as cultured people, whose culture does not allow such uncultured habits, like stealing, fraud, armed robbery, and so on: “Families need this to teach the children our cultural values, which are embedded in the indigenous languages. You will agree with me that indigenous languages help in local and traditional wisdom. China used their indigenous language for their cultural and technological revolution. NICO will be interested in your project; but we will study our curriculum with what you have. Your innovation is worth giving attention. We need more platforms to publicize this so that all Nigerians will embrace it. I am sure a lot of NICO staffers, if you showcase it to them, would want to acquire it for their children.”
In his remarks, the Managing Director, Mavis Computel Ltd, Mr. Samuel Ucheaga, said the need to solve Nigerians problems with easy technology prompted his organization into embarking on designing the language learning device, where there are already books on English learning Yoruba, English Learning Igbo, English Learning Hausa, and English Learning French.
On his part, the Head, Corporate Strategy and Operations of Mavis Computel, Mr. Chizaram Ucheaga, demonstrated the device using a special biro to tap on the book and a voice would speak the indigenous language and interpret in English.
The MD explained further: “We made it in a way that even an illiterate can operate it in order to learn any language of his or her choice. In doing this we made use of scholars and experts in the languages. Each of the languages was edited, proofread and voiced by them. We really did a thorough job. We have the intention of producing other languages, and even other subjects like physics, biology, chemistry, etc. The device with the speaker is N67, 000.00 while with earpiece is N42, 000.00.”
Those present are were the Director, Research and Documentation, Prince Dele Olusa; Coordinator, NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre, Mrs. Regina Onuoha; and Mrs. Franca Okoro of the Orientation and Cultural Affairs Department.
Nwagbo Pat Obi