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El-Rufai, Akeredolu canvass use of indigenous language, seek educational reform 


Ondo State Governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu

Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has called for an overhaul of the country’s educational policy, stressing that there is dire need to adopt indigenous language for all round development.In the same vein, the Ondo State governor and visitor to the university, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, lauded his Kaduna State counterpart for his audacious revolution in the education sector. 

Akeredolu, who reiterated a need for curricular reform and a common indigenous language for all the ethnic groups in the country, described education as the bedrock of socio-economic development.

The duo stated this during the fourth distinguished guest lecture of the University of Medical Sciences (UNIMED), Ondo, titled: “Transforming Nigerian Educational System: Looking Back and Looking Forward.”The Ondo governor, who condemned widespread clamour for political restructuring, said: “Restructuring must start from the education sector. If we get it right here, other things will follow. Why are we not starting from here because it will affect other sectors?”


While asserting that the current educational policy operated in the country is obsolete, El-Rufai stressed that it could not meet up with the present education demands and realities.His words: “I think that fundamental reforms are needed in education and I think what the Federal Ministry of Education needs to do is to lead in reviewing the National policy on education, which is already forty or fifty years old. 

“In my view, it is out of time; in the 21st century, so much has changed in education, but there is a need to sit down and get experts in the subjects to look at what is happening in the educational policies of countries in the world: what is changing.“Professionals are dying and new ones are coming up. Our curriculum and policies on education are all grounded in the 20th century, we are in the 21st and there is need for a holistic review of that.”

The Kaduna governor, who lamented that the nation has not sustained the investment on education in the past despite its importance to the development of the citizenry in all ramifications, however, stated that “the situation in Kaduna is perhaps better than some states in the North in terms of education.

He said though the legislation to eradicate early girl-child marriage in the Kaduna State Assembly suffered setback due to perceived religious condemnation, his administration dared such constituted authorities and passed it into law in February. 

He said: “Of course, associated to that is the quest for indigenous language. 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 the United States (U.S.) as the largest economy in the world. 

“They are dominant force in ICT and defence, 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 the educational communication is English?”

“This national policy should look at issues like this and come up with policies on education that will prepare young people of Nigeria for the 21st century because right now, the education we are giving them may not be fit for 21st century to compete globally.”

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