As part of measures to liberate our indigenous languages from the stranglehold of dominant foreign languages, especially English Language that has been superimposed on them, the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) North-West Zonal Office, Katsina, recently organized a debate in Hausa Language at Alhaji Dr. Shehu Idris Hall, Katsina College, Katsina.

The debate, which was planned to complement the ongoing Weekend Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (WNILP) of the Institute, had as its topic, “Ilmantar da Diya mace ya fi ilmantar da da namiji amfani”, meaning, “Educating a Girl-Child is more Beneficial than Educating a Male Child”.

Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman, who is the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Katsina State, Prof. Halimatu Sadiya Idris, represented by the Assistant Director, Staff Matters at the Ministry, Alhaji Abdullahi Lawal, stressed the importance of the event, saying it was a welcome development and that it will afford the participants the privilege of appreciating their mother tongue and also give them a sense of belonging since it was being done in their language.

He noted that an event of this nature will engage the students positively and also improve their ability to speak their mother tongue, adding that the social challenges and insecurity facing the country today could be attributed to the neglect and deviation from our cultural values; and applauded NICO for such a laudable programme.

Earlier in his address, the Zonal Coordinator, NICO North-West Zone, Katsina, Alhaji Ibrahim Lawal, who was represented by the Head, Research and Documentation in NICO North-West Zone, Mr. Lukman Erubu, reiterated the mission, vision and mandate of the Institute, stating that the debate was part of activities organized to promote and protect our culture.

He admonished participants to compose themselves and ensure that their points were well articulated to attract marks from the Judges, stressing that the debate was not a do-or-die competition, but purely to ensure that the language was projected and the audience sensitized.

The Inter-School Debate, which was aimed at reviving and protecting our indigenous languages from the threat of extinction, saw a healthy exchange of arguments and counter arguments by eight participating schools in the zone.

Four schools – Government Girls College, Katsina, Liwa`ul Islam College of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Katsina, Katsina College, Katsina and Government Day Secondary School, Kambarawa, were on the proposing side; while Government College, Katsina, Government Day Secondary School, Kofar `Yan daka, Saint Martins’ De Porres College, and Sir Usman Nagoggo College of Arabic and Islamic Studies, were on the opposing side.

At the end of the debate, Government Girls College, Katsina, took the 1st position; the 2nd position went to Liwa’ul Islam College of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Katsina; while Government Day Secondary School, Kambarawa, Katsina, took the 3rd position.

High points of the event, which had in attendance, Principals and Staff from the participating schools, were Hausa traditional cultural performances, exhibition of Nigerian dress culture, and presentation of prizes, as well as consolation prizes, to the various schools

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