Impact Of Mother Tongue In Our Student In The Schools Today.
A state governor recently showed his displeasure at the high rate of students’ failure in the senior school examinations, having spent so much on them through the government’s free education policy. Consequently, he threatened that only students who pass the mock examination conducted by the state education board, would have their WAEC and NECO examinations fees paid by the government.
But, this kind of threat is not the solution to the incessant mass failure. Such could even worsen matters. The solution is the use of indigenous language as a medium of instruction in primary schools.
The effects of indigenous language on educational advancement has been proved by many researches conducted on the impact of Mother Tongue Education (MTE) on Nigerian primary school pupils.
The researches revealed that pupils in experimental classes show more evidence of self-reliance and resourcefulness, compared with the control groups.
Education in mother tongue assists learning efforts when pupils get to the senior secondary school. The teachers would labour less in imparting knowledge. Thus, the problem of high rate of failure of students in vital examinations like WAEC, GCE, UTME, etc, which has been linked by scholars to the use of foreign language to convey technical concepts, will be solved.
Mother tongue education also enhances easy transition from home to school. Before attaining school age, the child has been exposed to mother tongue at home and he is already getting accustomed to it. By the time he gets to school, if the same language continues to be used, the child will not encounter the kind of psychological dissonance associated with the use of foreign language (English Language) in school.
Mother tongue education would certainly result in the attainment of the much-desired technological development that Nigeria is striving to achieve. The country would stand a better chance of producing prolific scientists like the Jews, Russians, Britons and Germans.
Futhermore, the use of mother tongue education would facilitate better understanding among the diverse ethnic groups in the country thereby promoting unity in diversity.
People from the minority language groups would have a sense of belonging and the perceived marginalisation would be eradicated. Even, language death or extinction, as a result of dominance of English Language, would would no longer occur.
Mother tongue education is backed up by sections two and three, paragraphs II and XV of National Policy on Education (NPE).