The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has stated that plans are in place for primary school pupils to be taught mathematics and science subjects in indigenous languages.
According to him, the plan is meant to ease the application of science and technology in the country.
The minister stated this while addressing pupils of Ekulu Primary School in Enugu, the Enugu State capital.
Onu was at the school to present computer sets and other science kits donated by the Ministry of Science and Technology to the school.
Onu stated, “The Ministry of Science and Technology is worried over the low interest in mathematics and the science subjects, so, we are working on plans to teach mathematics and sciences in indigenous languages in primary schools.
“These pupils grow up with their indigenous languages at home before they start going to school, where they are now taught in foreign languages. So, we have observed that there is a challenge to understand the foreign languages first before they could even start understanding what they are being taught.”
The plan, he said, would aid pupils understanding of mathematics and other science subjects which are the bedrock of science and technology. A nation that does not invent would be dependent on imports from nations that have invested in their own science and technology sector.
He believed that Nigeria would remain an import-dependent nation if the citizens did not embrace science and technology.
The minister stated, “No nation can become great without science and technology. If Nigeria is to be great, then, Nigerians must embrace science and technology.
The idea is not a new one has it is one that educationists have been clamouring for. It was the basis of the Ife Six-Year Primary Education Project by renowned educationist, the late Professor Babs Fafunwa where Yoruba was the medium of instruction.
It also is a clause in the National Policy of Education (NPE) which insists that a child be taught in his mother tongue oR the language of his immediate environment up until the end of primary school and English would only be used only to teach English Language.
The NPE is a document that states all of government’s position on education in Nigeria. It is poorly-implemented and rarely referred to.