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El-Rufai, Akeredolu canvass indigenous language for overall development


Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has advocated the overhaul of the country’s educational policy to encourage the use of indigenous language for all round development. El-Rufai who stated this at the 4th Distinguished Guest Lecture of the University of Medical Sciences (UNIMED), Ondo lamented that the current system is obsolete and incapable of meeting the present demands and realities. 

The governor in his paper titled, “Transforming Nigerian educational system: Looking back and looking forward, “ posited that fundamental reforms are necessary in the sector and called on the Federal Ministry of Education to step up measures of reviewing the National policy on education which is already outdated.

“So much has changed in the sector, there is a need to sit down and get experts to look at what is happening in the educational policies of countries all over the world. Professionals are dying and new ones are coming up. Our curriculum and policies on education are all grounded in the 20th century; there is need for a holistic review to meet with current realities.
He lamented that the nation has not sustained its investment in the sector despite its importance to the development of the citizenry in all ramifications. 

El Rufai explained the reasons behind his revolutionary reforms in the sector, adding that several incentives like tax holiday, free housing schemes, regular training are given to teachers as the core of education. 

Though the legislation to eradicate early girl-child marriage in the Kaduna State Assembly suffered setback due to perceived religious condemnation, the governor said his administration nonetheless passed it to law in February. He also raised concerns over the use of English language as the official means of communication in the nation. 

“ Should we still be teaching from primary to university in English Language? What can we learn from other countries that teach in their own indigenous languages up to university level? They teach from primary to tertiary institutions in their own languages and they have gone to space. China is competing with America and will soon overtake it as the largest economy in the world. 

“They are a dominant force in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), yet they are taught in Chinese. Is there something we can learn there? Are we slowing down our development by insisting that the only language of instruction should be English? On his part, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said restructuring must start from the sector, adding “if we get it right here, other things will follow.”

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Nasir El-Rufai
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