The Nigerian government is rolling out a policy aimed at promoting the teaching of primary school pupils in their local languages.
That policy means pupils won’t have to be taught in the English language, a practice that has lasted for decades.
Education Minister Adamu Adamu told journalists on Wednesday that the new framework known as the National Language Policy had been approved for implementation.
According to the policy instruction for the first six years in primary schools will be in the mother tongue.
Local languages will now take the centre stage, according to the education minister who said “pupils learn much better” when they are taught in their own mother tongue.
He acknowledged that implementing the new policy would be challenging because it would “require a lot of work to develop materials to teach and get the teachers”.
Another challenge is the number of languages spoken in Nigeria, which is more than 600. It’s not immediately clear when the government will start implementing the new system.
The Nigerian authorities suggest they will first provide teaching materials and teachers for the local languages before the implementation in earnest.
English is Nigeria’s official language and all learning institutions use it as the common language of teaching and learning.