The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday, June 18, urged Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to direct the state’s Ministry of Education to ensure the compulsory teaching of Yoruba Language in public and private schools.
The state lawmakers passed a resolution on the matter following a motion moved by Adesisi Yusuf (APC-Alimosho1) at its plenary.
He said the 2004 National Policy on Education (NPE) indicated the importance of language as a means of promoting mutual relationship, unity and preservation of culture.
The lawmaker said it is important for children to learn the language of their immediate environment to enhance the unity of the country.
“If we do not make Yoruba a compulsory subject in our schools, this will tarnish our culture and tradition.
“Our failure to speak our language has endangered godly character in our society,” Yusuf said.
He also frowned at parents for not allowing their children to communicate in Yoruba at home.
In his contribution, Segun Olulade (APC-Epe 2) said that growth and development would be affected in any nation where instructions are not given in the native language.
“Countries of the world we refer to as developed speak their languages, we will continue to queue behind them as long as we treat ours with disdain.
“Yoruba language is beautiful and very rich, we should not call it vernacular, and instead, we should refer to English as vernacular.
“Our culture and tradition have been eroded, it is ridiculous that lawmakers in Yoruba land cannot speak our language fluently.”
Lanre Ogunyemi (APC-Ojo 2), commended the mover of the motion and urged parents to be involved in the promotion of the language.
“The first school for a child is in the home; many parents do not do see that as right. If children are taught in school without corresponding support from parents, that will not work,” he said.
The Majority Leader, Sanai Agunbiade (APC-Ikorodu 1) urged his colleagues to organise competitions in Yoruba language in their constituencies.
Agunbiade said that the state Ministry of Education should do the same in the state to encourage children to learn the language.
“We can hold public lecture with the government, teachers and parents on how to go about it and the recommendations from such meeting should be made known to the ministry,” he said.
The Deputy Majority Leader, Olumuyiwa Jimoh (APC-Apapa 2), said: “this is not the first time of considering this issue in the Assembly, we considered it in the 7th Assembly.
“If we do not know our language, we can’t know history.”
The Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa said that some people now look at their local languages and culture with disdain.
“Nations that speak their language are the ones succeeding, while those of us that do not speak our language are the one behind. All of us should go back home and do the needful.”
The speaker also appealed to artists to help in producing movies and music that would promote local languages.
The Assembly adjourned till June 23.