By Martin Nwoko

In a bid to resuscitate the culture of teaching and learning of Igbo language in all schools owned by the Imo State Government, the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Prof. (Mrs) Viola Onwuliri, has declared that it is now compulsory for teachers in Imo State to teach the students with Igbo language to enable the young ones communicate effectively in their mother tongue.

The Honourable Commissioner for Education averred that gone are the days in the state when lip service were paid to the teaching and learning of Igbo language.

She condemned the situation where students in the state were made to concentrate more on foreign languages other than their native language, which they were born with.

The Commissioner for Education disclosed this during a one-day seminar on the use of Igbo language in teaching any subject at the secondary schools in the State, which was organized by the State Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB) over the weekend in Owerri. She maintained that Igbo language is a good communication channel both in schools and at home.

Speaking further, she called on parents and teachers in the state to henceforth ensure the use of Igbo language while communicating with their children at home. The Honourable Commissioner appealed to all parents in the state to avoid forcing their children to speak English or any other foreign languages against their mother tongue.

Prof. Onwuliri revealed that the Ministry of Education in the state will be sponsoring a bill to the Imo State House of Assembly to enact a law on the use of Igbo language in schools in Imo State, to avoid Igbo language going into extinction. She called on teachers to start writing text books with Igbo language which will go a long way, in inculcating the habit of teaching and learning with Igbo language.

In his own contribution, a participant, Mr. Method Odoemena, advised teachers to apply the attitude of thoughtfulness at home before coming to class to teach the students. He also urged teachers to adopt students central teaching and learning, which will enable the teacher to ascertain whether the students are understanding what they are being taught.