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Govt moves to make reading part of curriculum

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Government has kick-started the process of arresting the declining Nigerian languages including Igbo language. The project has taken off with handover of Igbo early grade reading material, titled, Ka Anyi Guo (Let us Read), whose production was funded by USAID.

At the handover ceremony in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, the representative of the Minister of Education, Mrs. Chinyere Nwokorie, said the problem of decline in local languages speaking was not due to absence of appropriate policy, but its implementation.

She stressed that the policy to use local language to teach pupils from primary one to three was still extant, adding that a policy to make reading a subject in school will soon take effect.

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Leader of the USAID Team, Mr. Nurudeen Lawal, who handed over the books to the Secretary to Abia State Government (SSG), Mr. Chris Ezem, urged states to access reading to their children, reproduce the books for mass distribution to pupils and create a reading timetable for children.

According to him, “Abia state government is not leaving anything to chance, we shall reproduce and circulate copies of the text books/materials to take our language to the next level and not allow it to die.”

The Permanent Secretary in the state’s Ministry of Education, Mr. Eze Ajuzie, also said, “effort to upgrade the culture of a people should begin with the promotion of their language just as any attempt to destroy their culture and tradition would begin with the destruction of their language.”

A Professor of Linguistics, Abia State University Uturu (ABSU), Dr. Ogbonna Onuoha, described the project as part of re-awakening process for Nigerian Languages.

Executive Director of the National Institute for Nigerian Languages NINLAN Aba (Abia State), Professor Obiajulu Emejulu, in his overview of the book/ materials said they were products of painstaking researches by many scholars.

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