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Africa News of Thursday, 1 December 2022


Nigeria to abolish English use for first six years of primary education

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Nigeria'scabinet, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a National Language Policy for use in all primary schools across Africa's most populous nation.

The major highlight of the policy is that the first six years of basic education should be undertaken in the mother tongue of pupils.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, briefed journalists of the policy after the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, November 30, 2022.

He said: “A memo on national policy was approved by the council. So, Nigeria now has a National Language Policy and the details will be given later by the ministry.

“One of the highlights is that the government has agreed now that henceforth, instruction in primary schools; the first six years of learning will be in the mother tongue.”

He, however, clarified that the decision is only in principle for now because it will require a lot of work to implement it.

“Theoretically, this policy starts from today but the use of mother tongue is exclusive but we need time to develop the material, get the teachers and so on.

"Since the first six years of school should be in the mother tongue. Whereby the pupil is, the language of the host community is what will be used.

“Because we have 625 languages at the last count and the objective of this policy is to promote, and enhance the cultivation and use of all Nigerian languages,” he added.

Nigeria's official language is English given that it is a former colony of the British, it has 1000s of indigenous languages with the major ones being Hausa, Fulani, Igbo and Yoruba.

Nigeria gained independence from the British in 1960.