President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Chairman, Education Thematic Committee of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi has expressed hope of better days ahead for the National Institute for Nigerian Languages (NINLAN), Aba, Abia State.
Prof. Ogunyemi and members of his committee paid a visit to the institute and was welcomed by the Executive Director of the Institute, Prof. Obiajulu Emejulu and the Deputy Executive Director of NINLAN, Prof. Solomon Oyetade.
Speaking on the request of NINLAN to be included among tertiary education institutions in the country that are catered for by the TETFUND, Ogunyemi, expressed positive disposition to the NINLAN request, and advised the Executive Director to send the necessary formal proposal to the relevant offices.
Earlier on, Emejulu had pleaded with the committee to support them in the ongoing process of training students who will graduate to be teachers of sciences using their mother tongue.
He said the innovation would contribute significantly in advancing the educational, scientific and economic status of the country.
The Executive Director explained to the Ogunyemi Committee that the role and mandate of the Institute were very relevant to the achievement of the academic, technological and economic dreams of Nigeria.
Deputy Executive Director of NINLAN, Prof. Solomon Oyetade, explained to the visiting TETFUND team that it is possible to teach the sciences in indigenous languages, and that makes for easier understanding by students and pupils.
According to Oyetade: “It’s better to teach pupils in their mother tongue than in a learned, foreign language as had been proved by the countries of the Asian Tigers, whose economic revolution was as a result of their teaching science and technology with their mother tongue.”
He said that experts in Nigeria had also proved the assertion to be true, with the positive result from an experiment carried out in the 1980s, at Ife, by a former Minister of Education, Prof. Babatunde Aliyu Fafunwa.