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French Language Village seeks re-inclusion in TETFund

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French Language Village. PHOTO: Jumia Travel

To actualise its mandate of equipping Nigerians for global competitiveness, the Nigeria French Language Village, Badagry, has pleaded for re-inclusion in the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).

Chairperson, French Village Anthem Planning Committee, Mrs. Omobolanle Adelaja, who made the appeal during a courtesy visit to The Guardian, noted that the village had been in existence since 1991.

According to her, if properly funded, the village has the needed manpower and facilities to aid national development by equipping Nigerians with the French language and making them relevant in the scheme of things globally.

She said, “We have a lot of competent people, but we don’t have the language to support the appointment in relation to some of the key positions internationally.”

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While lamenting the school’s exclusion from TETFund, Adelaja said several appeals had been made to the agency to have a rethink since assistance to the village was stopped in 2010.

“In the early years, we had support from the French government in terms of scholarships, books and all. But today, funding is solely from the federal government,” she said, describing what comes from government as meagre; hence the appeal to TETFund.

“We used to enjoy TETFund or ETF (Education Trust Fund) as it was called then. But since 2010, we have been delisted. We have written letters, made presentations, but it appears that they consider us a monotechnic. We actually attend to all universities and colleges of education. We are actually providing service to the whole education sector, yet we are being called monotechnic; hence unable to access any help from TETFund.

“Polytechnics and colleges of education have the capability to access TETFund, but French Village, Arabic Village, Mathematical Centre among others are not able to do so because of that monotechnic appellation.”

Adelaja enjoined Nigerians to embrace French language, saying “we stand to benefit more as individuals and a nation.”

She added, “We remember that a few years ago, there was a declaration that French would be the second official language.

Incidentally, since that day, there has not really been a follow-up; we have not seen any drive or policy from the government.

“At the French Village, we see that we have the resources to help make this a reality. We have followed the news very closely. We have very competent Nigerians that should have positions in the African Union (AU) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), but we have missed out just because of this language problem.

“We might be shortchanging ourselves because we see that Nigeria is funding ECOWAS for all practical purposes, we are funding the AU, or should I say we are taking the larger chunk of the financial aspect. If we are doing that, then he who pays the piper should call the tune. But we are not ready to call the tune because we cannot speak that second language, which would make it easier for us to have an insight.

“For Nigeria to be able to raise hands when we participate at important conferences, we need to have that communication.”


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