USAID advocates use of mother tongue in early school learning in Gombe

The need for parents and community leaders to support early school learning in the mother tongue for effective education has been stressed considering the dearth of local languages in the country.

The assertion was made by USAID Chief of Party in Nigeria, Dr Audu Liman while speaking in Bomala village in Kwami Local Government Area of the state during the celebration of the 2021 International Mother Language Day held at Bomala Primary School.

The program is undertaken through the Strengthening Education in North-East Nigeria (SENSE), a USAID funded project linked to the International Mother Language Day which is celebrated on 21st February every year, the 2021 theme is: ‘Fostering Multilingualism for Inclusion in Education and Society’.

Audu Liman said that learning in the mother tongue which is known as Hausa in the North-Eastern part of the country benefits the child in numerous ways by supporting him in the learning of other languages like English.

The USAID Chief of Party added that “We want the child to master the Hausa language which is the mother tongue in Primary 1 to 3 before switching off to English. If really, we want to improve the quality of education, we must take account of mother tongue thereafter other languages.”

He added that “Research has shown that this is the best way to teach a child, unfortunately, parents are not doing it, hence, we encourage parents to take pride in their language. We are here to demonstrate our pride in Hausa Language because this is our language and our message for educated people who have their language but have forgotten”.

“We are appealing to the public especially the educated not to send their children to a school that they will learn English from primary one because it’s wrong. The right way is to send your child to a school where they start with Hausa so that your child will master the language first from primary to two before he switches to English in primary three or four,” he said.

Audu Liman also said that the USAID decided to celebrate the day on Friday with pupils of Bomala Primary School, Teachers and parents because February 21st the day set aside for the commemoration is Sunday and “there is no school.”

The Education Secretary of Kwami LGA, Mal. Yuguda Yaro, also said SENSE has selected seven primary schools in Kwami LGA and the project is impacting positively on teachers and pupils.

While calling on SENSE to extend their services to other schools in the LGA, he said even the teachers had benefited from the project not only pupils.

Head Teacher of the school, Mal. Ba’ale Alhaji commended the SENSE project for the provision of Hausa learning books for primary 1-3 in the school.

He said that the project was impacting positively on the children because through the Hausa storybooks provided by SENSE, they were encouraged.

The Village Head of Bomala, Mal.Yakubu Ibrahim commended SENSE for celebrating International Mother Language day in Bomala village , adding that the project would improve the standard of Education in the area.

The major highlight of the event was reading of Hausa story books to pupils by their parents.

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