Don harps on language liberality for national unity, development
Professor Oluranti Ogunbiyi of the Department of Language Arts and Social Science Education (LASSED), Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, yesterday canvassed language liberality to promote unity and sustainable development in Nigeria.
She disclosed this at the 59th Independence Lecture of Satellite Town Baptist Church in Lagos, where she was the guest speaker.
In her paper entitled ‘Language: A Panacea For Enhancing Unity And Sustainable Development In Nigeria’, the don noted: “Policymakers and the society as a whole should make it a point of duty to change their attitude positively to our indigenous languages, so that we can learn, understand and speak one another’s tongue. Understanding one another will enhance national unity, and this automatically will transform into national development.”
Urging the enlightenment of children on the mother tongue to facilitate this goal, she pointed out that the nation’s education philosophy emphasised living in unity and harmony as one indivisible, indissoluble, democratic and sovereign entity founded on the principles of freedom, equality and justice as well as promotion of inter-African solidarity and world peace through understanding.
She referenced Nigeria’s National Policy of Education 2012, which stated: “Government appreciates the importance of language as a means of promoting social interaction, national cohesion and preserving cultures.”
The visiting professor to the Federal University of Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) said since the policy captured that every child should be educated in any of the three major languages for the unity of the country, the domestication of mother tongues should be implemented to further drive home the advocacy.
She further urged the retooling of teacher training institutes for efficiency to achieve national transformation, cohesion and human development.
The host, Rev. Kayode Akintude of Satellite Town Baptist Church, urged ‘true patriotism’ from the leadership and followership nationwide, decrying the anomalies in the polity.
He sought reorientation, for the nation to move forward in the real sense of the word.