CULTURAL HERITAGE DAY: SCHOOLS CELEBRATES THIS YEAR 2022 EVENTS.
By Exponent Magazine News
Learners and their Teachers
In this year 2022 Cultural Heritage day celebration, our correspondence have an exclusive interview with one of the Director in the Federal Government Ministries who spoke extensively in Yoruba Language on the subject matter while pleaded for anonymity has this to say.
Today is a Language and cultural day celebration. Tell us the importance of the Culture to us?
Today is a Languages day celebration that is being celebrated on the 21st day of February, in every year as stipulated by the UNESCO to be celebrating
Yorùbá Different food
Languages across the globe. As we celebrate it today in Yoruba Land , so also others tribes are doing the same in their own regions.
What is the reasons for the celebration?
The reasons for the celebration is to awakening us from our slumber towards the development of the Yoruba Culture and Language from going into extinction. Our children this day are not ready to hear or learn the Language any more. Therefore, the UNESCO as an organization thought that the only way to awake the Languages from going into extinction is to create a special day for the celebration of our Languages and Culture. Take for instance, Latin Language has gone into extinction for years, and we do not want such to happen to Yoruba Language and that is why we are celebrating the day today. Since we have started the celebration,our Children/learners have been asking us when are we going to celebrate the Cultural and Languages day ? By so doing, we have started sensitizing them towards the promotion of our cultural heritage.
Yorùbaá Language Teachers
Any Government response towards the promotion of our Cultural heritage?
Hmm! You see, as we are blaming government for the decline in the promotion of Yoruba Language, so also parents and Teachers too contributed to the decline of the Yoruba Language. Although, during the Military Administration of Major General Ibrahim Gbadamosi Babangida , he made the Nigerian Languages compulsory for all the learners at both primary and secondary levels before any one of them can choose other languages. So, during that time, most of the learners that doesn’t have interest in Yoruba Language have no choice than to do it because government made the Nigerian Languages compulsory for them. But suddenly, the decision was reversed when there was a change in the government of Major General Ibrahim Gbadamosi Babangida. Just like a Yoruba proverbial statement: that a king that reigned well , his name will not be forgotten in the annal of that Community, vize-a-vize .
We appreciate General Ibrahim Gbadamosi Babangida for that promogation then ” that all learners must know their Languages ” because of this vacancies were created for those people that studied Nigerian Languages. That was what gave me the opportunity to secured a job been a Yoruba Teacher and I was posted to Gusau in Zamfara State to teach Yoruba Language. For that singular law made by him ( Ibrahim Gbadamosi Babangida) Administration, our children have the opportunities to learn their Language (Yoruba) and Culture. But other government reversed the decision and asked all the learners to be learning about Sciences and forget about their Mother tongue. That was why I said earlier that government is to be blamed for the decline in the Languages and our cultural heritage in our country.
Yorùbá Dance in action
What is the solution to the promotion of our Cultural heritage?
I have blamed government, parents and Teachers earlier on as most of them does not allowed their children to speak in their Mother tongue except in English Language. According to her she was correcting her little child in Yoruba Language that she should put her legs straight, the response of her child was that ” I will tell Mummy ( Teacher) in school that you are speaking Yoruba Language to me ” while I replied her that ” You and your Mummy, if I didn’t learn this Language in school, I will not be able to paid your School fees and your Mummy in School will not be able to received her school fees. So help me, to tell your Mummy in school that , I get my money from this Yoruba Language”. Since then, I made it compulsory for all my children to be speaking Yoruba Language at home .Yet one of my children didn’t catch up quickly. As a former Secretary to the Association of the Yoruba Teachers in Nigeria then, if I speak Yoruba Language to the children at home, their response was always in English Language. This act now became a challenge to me been a Yoruba Teacher, and since then, I made it compulsory for all my children to be speaking the language at home.
Also, the school have to be blamed for the declined in the Yoruba Language. Some of the school didn’t have the subject on their school time table, particularly the private schools. They have removed it from their time table . Therefore, the children in those schools will not be opportuned to learn the Yoruba Language let alone of speaking it. If there is opportunities for the children to learn the Yoruba Language in school and speak it at home , the children we definitely develop interest in the Language.
The Teacher in the field also, contributed to the declined in the Yoruba Language due to the ways and manners of handling the subject .Most of them do not taech with motivational interest or have current materials to teach the Language in order to stimulate the students towards learning the subject.
Government should make sure that the Yoruba Language become compulsory just like it was in the past during the Military regime . They should not make it optional. Government should make a law that will enable all students to do Nigerian Languages and pass it at credit level. If they can do this , the students we have interest in the subject. So , if we can apply all these three ideas I have mentioned you will see that students we have interest in the subject and development will be in our cultural heritage.
What should we be expecting in this year cultural day celebration?
In fact, the celebration has started in all the schools as Iam speaking with you now. A lot of activities are going on right now and students are happy that today is a cultural day because it gives them the opportunities to appear in their traditional apparel. There is no teaching and learning today in all our schools as today is meant for the celebration of our culture. Activities that are going on now include dancing, quiz competition on our culture and Languages, Debate ( impromptu talk) in Yoruba Language, traditional draught called “Ayò Olópón” . In fact , some of the students have not see this traditional draught game before. But today, they we see it and know how to play them as they have been taught how to play the game. Talking Drum and dancing are already going on . Because today is an anniversary day for both Teachers and their Students.
The Yorùbá future Leaders of today.
Apart from this, traditional food will be cooked and displayed. Example are Aadun, Másà, Akara ibile , ègbo, e.t.c. All these African delicacies are going on right now in our schools. Immediately, after this interview, I will be joining our people to celebrate the Cultural heritage for this year. Thank you.
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