Against the backdrop of “perceived enslavement” of the Igbo culture and language by the Western culture, and its gradual extinction, there is renewed called on Ndigbo in all parts of the country and in the Diaspora to rise up to salvage their cultural heritage before it becomes too late.
The Director of The College of Education, Nsukka (TCN), an affiliate of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (former Anambra State University), Dr. Emma Ugwuerua, who made the call, lamented that the speed with which the Igbo culture was being eroded, showed that if conscious efforts were not made to prevent the continued influence of the imported culture from the western world, particularly on the younger generation of Igbo children, the language and other etiquette of the people would disappear in a near future.
This was part of the views expressed by the director during the Cultural Week of the college, which was organised by the Department of Igbo Language at the Agu-Achara Nsukka campus of the institution in Enugu State.
According to him, the primary objective of the cultural week is to inculcate in the students and expose them to the values and norms of the Igbo tradition as the main targets for the revival of the culture and language of the people.
Ugwuerua lamented: “It is unfortunate that the culture of Ndigbo, particularly their language is fast losing its texture and acceptability by the same people because of western influence.
Many families have contributed to this negative influence because they have refused to groom and nurture their children with their mother tongue. In schools, the language of teaching is English as teachers rarely use the Igbo language in the teaching and learning process of the pupils.
“The only way to forestall the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) prediction in 2012 that many tribal languages, including the Igbo language might go into extinction by 2025 is to sensitise our young ones on the need to preserve our cultural heritage and ensure that the trademarks of the Ndigbo become more vibrant than what it used to be.”
He, therefore, enjoined the governors of the South-East and other Igbo speaking states in the country, through their Commissioners of Education to come up with curriculum that would make Igbo Language a mandatory subject from primary to secondary school levels.
This was even as he challenged the Ohanaeze Ndigbo to embark on the campaign for revamping the people’s culture, adding that parents should speak and teach their children their mother tongue.
The Head of Department, Mrs. D. Odo said the only way of promoting the Igbo culture and its cultural components is by showcasing the cultural heritage of the people to the younger ones, especially at the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.