The Kogi Government has set up a nine-man committee to develop curriculums for Igala and Ebira languages to be introduced into basic and secondary school education in the state.
Mrs Rosemary Osikoya , the state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, while inaugurating the committee in Lokoja, said they have two weeks to complete the first part of their work.
Osikoya said the committee was saddled with responsibility of getting the required materials for the introduction of Igala and Ebira languages into school curriculum in the state.
“The first target is to collate and group together what we have already and harness them into a document so as to have a state level response to Nigerian Educational Research Development Council (NERDC).
“To package everything they know and have from an expert point of view and put it into a format that will become the state correspondence to NREDC, which they have requested.
“The second one is to give additional support that is required by NERDC for us to ensure we have curriculums in our local dialects.
“Language of instruction, particularly at the primary stage, would have to be in the mother tongue of that child if you want learning to take place and for communication to be effective.
“I am happy that at least about four of the committee members who came in are Linguists and expert in that field.
“We are closer to have a document on Igala and Ebira curriculum,” Osikoya said.
The commissioner thanked the NERDC’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Prof. Ismail Junaid for his commitment to the course , for also sending a team from NERDC to be part of the state level training for school managers.
The committee chairman, Mr Friday Ikani thanked the governor and the commissioner for the great task given them and for the bold step taken in developing Kogi indigenous languages.
Ikani, who is the Dean School of Languages, Kogi College of Education, Ankpa, said the state’s indigenous languages were already going into extinction and they include languages such as Igala, Ebira, Okun, Kakanda and Oworo.
“If a child is not taught in his mother tongue, if you teach him in another language you are making it complex for him. This action is a bold step in the right direction.
“As the chairman of this committee we will work to ensure that we come up with the curriculum that will go the appropriate quarters for use,” Ikani said.