International Mother Language Day: Bayelsa Govt Emphasizes Teaching of Mother Tongue To Children


By Caleb Tamunosaki

The Government of Bayelsa State has called on parents to take deliberate steps to teach the local dialects to their children as a way of preserving the mother tongue.

The Commissioner for Ijaw National Affairs, Patrick Erasmus, made the comment during the 2022 International Mother Language Day celebration in Yenagoa on Saturday.

The commissioner was represented by the Special Adviser on Ijaw National Affairs, Oyinfie Jonjon at the event which held under the theme “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities”

He said that the state government has taken the bold step to train about 200 Izon teachers to teach Ijaw language in primary schools across the state.

The team focuses on the role of technology to advance multilingual education and the support for the development of quality teaching and learning for all.

According to Erasmus, the state government was working on the policy to ensure the teaching of the Ijaw language in public and private schools in the state.

He explained that the Government has picked the Kolokuma dialect as the central Ijaw language to be taught in schools in the state.

“Most of our young children today are unable to communicate with their mothers tongue and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has repeatedly said that most of the languages will face extinction in a matter of time.

“The Bayelsa State government has, thus, effected plans to commence the teaching of the Izon language- that is the Kolokuma dialect- in public and private schools across the state in the current academic session beginning from primary school.

“Some 200 Izon teachers have been recruited and given the necessary training for the purpose and will be redeployed to primary schools in all the eight local government areas of the state.” He said


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