Kakalistiq.com reports that the Tutor-General and Permanent Secretary of Education, District III, Falomo, Ikoyi-Lagos, Dr. Olufunke Oyetola, has underscored the crucial role of Yoruba language teachers in preserving the Yoruba language from potential extinction during a bi-annual workshop organized by the Association of Teachers of Yoruba Language and Culture, Lagos State Chapter.
The event, titled “The Federal Government’s New Language Policy on Education: Its Impacts on the Teaching and Learning of Yoruba Language,” took place from October 22nd to October 25th, 2023, at Badagry Grammar School, Badagry, Lagos State.
The Tutor-General stressed the significance of safeguarding the Yoruba culture and tradition, citing the potential loss of languages to extinction. She emphasized the critical role of Yoruba teachers in ensuring that the Yoruba culture thrives and expressed how her success in education was indebted to the Yoruba language. She revealed that her academic achievements were a result of translating English learning instructions into Yoruba, enabling better comprehension and the ability to articulate her thoughts.
The workshop was not only a platform for marvelous cultural celebrations but also an educational experience. It featured prominent figures such as Mr. Segun Osinaike, the Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary of District IV, Mr. Fatai Lawal from District V, and Mrs. Anike Adekanye representing District II, who all echoed the sentiments of their District III counterparts in their speeches.
Mr. Segun Osinaike, tutor-general and permanent secretary of District IV, highlighted the pivotal role of the government in preserving the indigenous Yoruba language and culture. He emphasized that the government plays a vital role not only through education policies but also by promoting cultural programs within schools.
He stated, “The government’s involvement is paramount in ensuring the preservation of our rich heritage. We need a comprehensive approach that includes curriculum development, support for cultural events, and resources dedicated to the teaching and learning of the Yoruba language. It’s not just about language; it’s about our identity, heritage, and sense of belonging. We’re committed to working collaboratively with educators and cultural organizations to achieve these goals.”
Olori Muhammed Adeola, the President of Egbe Akomolede Yoruba, Epe, Lagos, emphasized the critical significance of Yoruba teachers’ participation at the conference and the need to explore all available resources to improve the teaching and learning of the Yoruba language.
She underlined the imperative of protecting the language from extinction and stated, “Our Yoruba teachers are the custodians of our culture and language. Their involvement in events like this is invaluable. By equipping them with the knowledge, tools, and resources needed to teach Yoruba effectively, we ensure the language remains vibrant and alive. We must explore all possible avenues, from creative teaching methods to cultural programs, to instill a deep love for our language in the hearts of our students. It’s our collective responsibility to protect and promote our cultural heritage for generations to come.”
The event, which also included visits to historic sites in Badagry, aimed to inspire and motivate Yoruba teachers to continue their dedicated efforts in preserving the Yoruba language and culture.