In a bid to restore the lost cultural value and preserve cultural heritage of the Yoruba people, Lagos State Government has expressed its readiness to make the teaching of Yoruba Language compulsory in all its public schools beginning from primary education to junior secondary schools.
The state government also said the imposition of western culture and language on Nigerian children had done a lot of damage to the rich local cultural heritage of the Yoruba people, which it noted had made Yoruba sons and daughters lose all the cultural values and aesthetics in their local language.
The event held at Academy hall, Agidingbi, Ikeja Lagos was attended among others by Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja 1, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamide Adeyemi 111 and Oba of Lagos Rilwan Akiolu.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said henceforth the teaching of Yoruba Language in all the public schools in the state beginning from primary to junior secondary schools JSS3 is compulsory so as to enable the region regain its lost cultural value and enable their children to be in tune with the norms and cultural value abound in their language.
According to a press statement by Odusina Akeem of the Public Affairs Unit, the state Deputy Governor’s Office, Ambode spoke at the stakeholders forum on the need to make Yoruba Language a compulsory teaching subject in all schools in the state organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Ambode noted that it is important for growing up children not only to learn the language of their environment, but also the culture and people’s general way of life, adding that it is very important for every Yoruba child to be able to speak the language fluently while he/she should be enriched with adequate cultural norms of the people so as to guarantee a responsible life in the future.
Governor Ambode, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Idiat Oluranti Adebule commended members of the state house of Assembly for their efforts at ensuring that Yoruba language is not relegated to the background.
The governor noted that their effort would further help the state government in the implementation of its policy on the teaching of Yoruba language, adding that the house would help to make appropriate legislations that would back up government efforts at making Yoruba language a compulsory subject in all schools in the state.
Earlier in his address, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudasiru Obasa, called on parents and teachers to ensure that Yoruba language remains the medium of communication to children and pupils at home and in schools, adding that the efforts would help growing up children to learn both the language and its cultural values.
He also called on the state government to set a day aside in the schools calendar in which Yoruba language would be the spoken language in all the public schools, urging government to recruit more Yoruba language teachers to promote the teaching of the language in public schools.
While commending traditional institutions for maintaining peace in the region, he charged them as custodians of culture to use their influence and respect to help propagate the use of Yoruba language in all programmes and activities organised by the Yoruba people.