A new policy aimed at promoting the teaching of primary school pupils in mother tongue has been issued in Nigeria. The move abolishes the use of English language forced on the educational system in the colonial era.
The new framework known as the National Language Policy was approved for implementation by the education minister Adamu Adamu on Wednesday November 30.
In the new policy, instruction for the first six years in primary schools will be in the mother tongue.
English is Nigeria’s official language and all learning institutions use it as the common language of teaching and learning. However, the education minister says “pupils learn much better” when they are taught in their mother tongue.
The education minister acknowledged that implementing the new policy would be challenging because it would “require a lot of work to develop materials to teach and get the teachers”.
Another challenge is the number of languages spoken in Nigeria – more than 600.
It’s not immediately clear when the government will start implementing the new system. The idea was first introduced in Lagos state by the last Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.