CIAPS director seeks return of Yoruba language, others in schools
To promote teaching and learning of indigenous languages in the country, especially Yoruba language and culture, Director, Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies (CIAPS), Prof. Anthony Kila, has called on parents and school owners to expose pupils to Yoruba language and culture early in life.
Speaking at the unveiling of “Owe, Yoruba by Proverbs,” Kila who authored the book, charged all and sundry to be committed to the sustainability of inherited cultures and values, warning those who shield their wards from learning Nigerian languages, to desist from such act.
Reminding parents and education managers of their huge role in this regard, the professor of strategy and development, said, indigenous languages should not be discarded while teaching English language to the pupils. “When a child is exposed to multiple languages at an early age, his mental muscle is being given more exercise to do. And it is a known fact that people who are bilingual at an early age tend to do better in life.”
“There is need for us to establish a Yoruba cultural institute or Nigerian cultural institute all over the country, just like it is done in Germany and France. Rather than fear the loss of our indigenous language, we should come together, sit down and plan what to do about it. CIAPS intends to organise a meeting of various writers, artists and creators of African culture to sit together to see what we can do in order to promote our culture and language.”
Kila, who described the book as an epistemological tool, noted that it is a way of using proverbs to discover society, people and culture. He also highlighted proverbs as being very useful to the Nigerian society.
“The things we talk about in a proverb are the things that happen around us. What we say about them is what we think and the way we present them is our art and our poetry,” he said.
While urging people of Yoruba descent and Nigerians to embrace culture generally, the author said that “the more cultured you are, the more you are likely to know your language. It is a cultured man or woman who knows and understands things better. We need to get together and have a clear idea that we need to present the culture in an attractive manner. We need to find out what we can do with the Yoruba culture and consciously and organically promote it.”
Also at the event, former Director General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, described the book as a way of using Yoruba language as a means of communication for information and culture transfer.