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Anambra's Igbo Language Bill - Politics - Nairaland

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Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by blackspade(m): 6:28pm On Jun 01, 2009
Anambra's Igbo Language Bill

1 June 2009

Lagos — The recent law stipulating Igbo language and attire for Anambra State schools is, so far, the loudest demonstration of concern for indigenous tongues in Nigeria, which experts classify as being on the verge of extinction.

This move is not out of character for the Anambra State House of Assembly which had earlier dedicated Wednesdays to the conduct of plenary sessions in the vernacular which, over the years, has been eroded in importance owing to western influence.

The bill, sponsored by Hon. Sylvester Okeke (Anaocha I), seeks to reverse the slide of Igbo into oblivion by encouraging students and civil servants under the Anambra State jurisdiction to learn, speak and write Igbo as fluently as they do English, which was imposed on the nation's indigenous populations by the colonial experience.

The Igbo language bill has a take-off date of September 2011. By this date, all public and private educational institutions in the state are expected by force of law to make Igbo a mandatory general studies course for all freshmen. Among other requirements, mastery of Igbo will be a precondition for promotion from junior to senior secondary school, while all institutions of higher learning will be bound to set up Igbo language departments.

The bill also seeks to impose a penalty of between N5, 000 and N100, 000 on JSS III students who fail the subject in the qualifying examination for admission into the senior school classes.

Noble as the intentions of the bill may be and good as they look on paper, the objective of that piece of legislation will hardly be achieved by a single stroke of the pen as the honourable members would have us believe. We daresay that the Assembly has simply put the cart before the horse.

There may be a general dialect that is widely accepted among the Igbo-speaking people as the authentic Igbo tongue, but that can hardly be said of wearing apparel, much less in Anambra State. Thus, Igbo dressing will be the next major challenge of the new law. The issue of what people wear ought not be subjected to legislation. Decency and good taste have always guided societies throughout history.

Can we imagine all Scotsmen in kilts as a matter of law?

Assuming the attire hurdle is surmountable, is there the basic infrastructure to enable compliance? If not, what plans are in place to achieve this infrastructure in the foreseeable future?

What the Anambra lawmakers should do is to go back to the drawing board and make room for a phased implementation of the noble objective of enthroning Igbo as a language of serious business, first in AFnambra, and then in the rest of Igbo land which extends well beyond the frontiers of the present South-East geo-political zone to the South-south communities where Igbo is the mother tongue.

We had expected the Anambra lawmakers to avert their minds to the feasibility of erecting Igbo language departments in universities in a country where most schools cannot find graduate teachers of Igbo language. Igbo teachers, writers, translators and interpreters are, in fact, as rare as the eagle in Igbo land.

Besides a concert of activities to generate genuine interest in the language, there should, indeed, be a programme for the massive training of teachers, using scholarships and related incentives to lure prospective graduates into Igbo studies. The government has a lead role to play in this regard because only governmental resources can kick-start the process and pave the way for public-spirited individuals to endow university professorial chairs to promote Igbo studies.

Only a planned injection of Igbo teachers into the education system can encourage the setting up of Igbo language departments and lead to patronage from parents and guardians, as well as students.

It is not easy to achieve all we have suggested between now and September 2011. It will take painstaking efforts involving more than the government of Anambra State, working towards the common goal of returning Igbo language to a place of pride. We believe, however, that it can be done.

While the proposed Igbo language project is commended we, however, urge the Honourable House to review the position and ensure that first things are done first.

http://www.champion-newspapers.com/daily%20champion%20files/Editorial/editorial.htm
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by Nobody: 6:33pm On Jun 01, 2009
Language studies in Nigerian primary and secondary schools do not serve the purpose of learning the language but for the teacher to just run her mouth and it ends there.
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by Strength10: 6:37pm On Jun 01, 2009
This is a good first step in the right direction and has been long overdue. This bill will not solve the probelm immediately but brings awareness, practicality and attention to this because it is very important. Hopefully, somebody can implement this wisely. Kudos to those who suppport this idea because we are loosing our rich culture not only in Igboland and Nigeria but in Africa  as a whole. We should be proud of who we are and our rich Heritage and should never allow others to define us or strip us of that which has been given and passed to us by our fathers.
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by Nobody: 6:37pm On Jun 01, 2009
can u please provide a direct link as I still doubt this news
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by Uche2nna(m): 6:40pm On Jun 01, 2009
stillwater:

Language studies in Nigerian primary and secondary schools do not serve the purpose of learning the language but for the teacher to just run her mouth and it ends there.

Exactly!!!!

I took three years of French and came out with just " Oui"
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by asha80(m): 6:42pm On Jun 01, 2009
I am not sure this will solve any issue.As long as parents prefer speaking english to their kids at home then this bill will not make much impact.
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by texazzpete(m): 6:44pm On Jun 01, 2009
This is a terrible bill indeed. Why should students' progress be tied to mastery of a non-national language, considering the fact that all entrances to higher institution is done based on common criteria of Maths, English and several other subjects relevant to the person's choice of specialization?
Does this mean that non-igbos studying in such schools are in effect forced to master the language or be drummed out?

Any bill that seeks to impose a financial levy as punishment to young school kids who fail exams must be opposed. unless, of course, the Anambra house is the one taking care of the child's school fees.
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by grafikdon: 6:46pm On Jun 01, 2009
This bill is ridiculous. I am sure the sponsor is one overzealous Eze Ndi Igbo wanna be. I am sick and tired of all the cries of "Our language is going extinct", Start with the primary and most influential suspects; some imbecilic Igbo parents who flog their children or forbid them from speaking "vernacular" in the house and leave the school out of their drama. They probably were not thinking about the non Igbos in the state.

So who is responsible for the grown ass Igbo man who came to the USA and claimed he has forgotten how to speak Igbo after only 4 months, and yet speaks with that bush-village-mud-hut-itibolibo  accent and says embarrassing things like "Polycaapu'' (Polycarp) , Alubaati"(Albert) and "Worrraaar" (Water) angry angry

Igbo attire in schools in Nigeria. . .WTF? ROTFLOL now that I think of it. The members of the house should first do us the honor of wearing peteli and bare foot to work since they are so keen on this culture of a thing.
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by Strength10: 6:48pm On Jun 01, 2009
Like the poster said it will be mandated. They should go further in making people take oral standardised IGBO test and enforce that before anyone graduates from Secondary school and University in igboland, they will have to pass both a written and oral test before a degree can be conferred. If you make something mandatory with severe consequences, people listen and wake up to reality immediately because the fear of the unkown or potential repercussion becomes their drive to more interest and enthusiasm. like i said, the bill is not enough, enforcing it is the key, but it is a first step in the right direction
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by sosisi(f): 6:50pm On Jun 01, 2009
The Igbo language bill has a take-off date of September 2011. By this date, all public and private educational institutions in the state are expected by force of law to make Igbo a mandatory general studies course for all freshmen. Among other requirements, mastery of Igbo will be a precondition for promotion from junior to senior secondary school, while all institutions of higher learning will be bound to set up Igbo language departments.

The bill also seeks to impose a penalty of between N5, 000 and N100, 000 on JSS III students who fail the subject in the qualifying examination for admission into the senior school classes.

Noble as the intentions of the bill may be and good as they look on paper, the objective of that piece of legislation will hardly be achieved by a single stroke of the pen as the honourable members would have us believe. We daresay that the Assembly has simply put the cart before the horse.




.
There are non Igbo speakers in Anambra state and I think it may be unfair to require that they master the Igbo language in order to school in Anambra state.
Igbo language should be compulsory for Igbos at least in Elementary school
It was,during my time
[b]I hope they exempt non Igbos from that rule.[/b]I would hate for my relatives in Warri to be forced to read and write Urhobo or Itsekiri just because they live there.
That would be wrong
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by Strength10: 6:52pm On Jun 01, 2009
I agree, the bill should be for only NDIGBO in Anambra. other ethnic groups can learn at their volition.
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by Nobody: 6:52pm On Jun 01, 2009
no need for the rule

they are only justifying Shekarua's actions

they should forget it.
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by asha80(m): 6:55pm On Jun 01, 2009
mikeansy:

no need for the rule

they are only justifying Shekarua's actions

they should forget it.

Has shekarau even been sanctioned for his actions?
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by grafikdon: 6:58pm On Jun 01, 2009
Strength10:

I agree, the bill should be for only NDIGBO in Anambra. other ethnic groups can learn at their volition.

The bill should be dropped like a rotten egg. Igbo should be left as an optional subject for both Igbo and non Igbo students (Just the way it done presently, unless things have changed). The school/teaching is not the problem, parents and family are. If they are serious about ''resuscitating'' the ''dying'' Igbo culture/language, they should start a massive public enlightenment campaign aimed at parents and adults who paste Igbo and ''vernacular'' in the same sentence. They are the problem.
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by Kobojunkie: 6:59pm On Jun 01, 2009
Uche2nna:

Exactly!!!!

I took three years of French and came out with just " Oui"

Roflmao!!!
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by sosisi(f): 7:06pm On Jun 01, 2009
Uche2nna:

Exactly!!!!

I took three years of French and came out with just " Oui"

shame on you grin
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by sosisi(f): 7:08pm On Jun 01, 2009
grafikdon:

This bill is ridiculous. I am sure the sponsor is one overzealous Eze Ndi Igbo wanna be. I am sick and tired of all the cries of "Our language is going extinct", Start with the primary and most influential suspects; some imbecilic Igbo parents who flog their children or forbid them from speaking "vernacular" in the house and leave the school out of your charade. They probably were not thinking about the non Igbos in the state.

Igbo attire in schools in Nigeria. . .WTF? ROTFLOL now that I think of it. The members of the house should first do us the honor of wearing peteli and bare foot to work since they are so keen on this culture of a thing.

Like the ones on Nairaland who tell us they were raised in Amukoko and Maroko (by Igbo parents) so they can't speak Igbo
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by blackspade(m): 7:09pm On Jun 01, 2009
mikeansy:

can u please provide a direct link as I still doubt this news

Here is the source: http://www.champion-newspapers.com/daily%20champion%20files/Editorial/editorial.htm
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by sosisi(f): 7:11pm On Jun 01, 2009
grafikdon:

The bill should be dropped like a rotten egg. Igbo should be left as an optional subject for both Igbo and non Igbo students (Just the way it done presently, unless things have changed). The school/teaching is not the problem, parents and family are. If they are serious about ''resuscitating'' the ''dying'' Igbo culture/language, they should start a massive public enlightenment campaign aimed at parents and adults who paste Igbo and ''vernacular'' in the same sentence. They are the problem.

I don't agree
The Igbo kids should learn how to read and write Igbo whether they or their parents like it or not.
I learnt  to read and write  Igbo in Elementary school from first grade.
It ought to be compulsory in all Igbo states like it was in the 70's and 80's
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by Strength10: 7:28pm On Jun 01, 2009
$osisi:

I don't agree
The Igbo kids should learn how to read and write Igbo whether they or their parents like it or not.
I learnt to read and write Igbo in Elementary school from first grade.
It ought to be compulsory in all Igbo states like it was in the 70's and 80's

Atleast, there is somebody here who understands and could relate to where my argument is coming from. They should learn it in school whether their A-hole, low self-esteem parents want it or not. I have castigated my aunts who live in PH for this. Non of their kids can speak IGBO but they speak English fluently almost like the Europeans and for some reason they take pride in it. It is a shame.!!
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by grafikdon: 7:45pm On Jun 01, 2009
$osisi:

I don't agree
The Igbo kids should learn how to read and write Igbo whether they or their parents like it or not.
I learnt  to read and write  Igbo in Elementary school from first grade.
It ought to be compulsory in all Igbo states like it was in the 70's and 80's

The onus is on the Parents/adults and not only schools. I learnt to write and speak Igbo from home and did not remember learning anything from elementary school. The catechism class was just an ''after school program'' aimed at educating potential first communion recipients, even that was no Igbo lesson, since the Catechist stood in front of everyone and read the lines, which I found excessively boring and always read the book at home , instead of waiting for someone to read a bunch of lines (Eyee, Jesu Kristi mere nke a, mee nkea. . . Ndi a buga Nnukwu njo, nke mbu; Ihe ndi obodo n'eme dika ife alusi. . .grin grin). 

I was reading and writing Igbo at the age of 8. I remember my mother made us write letters to our father in Igbo and he'd reply in the same language. That was why I never lost sleep over Igbo in high school. I always walked into the exam hall and collected my "A", no stress, no preparation, no TDB studies  grin
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by NINETOFIVE(m): 8:09pm On Jun 01, 2009
$osisi:




.
There are non Igbo speakers in Anambra state and I think it may be unfair to require that they master the Igbo language in order to school in Anambra state.
Igbo language should be compulsory for Igbos at least in Elementary school
It was,during my time
[b]I hope they exempt non Igbos from that rule.[/b]I would hate for my relatives in Warri to be forced to read and write Urhobo or Itsekiri just because they live there.
That would be wrong


This is a very good idea and there should be no exemption, I grew up in Yoruba land and at such I had to study Yoruba language, are you trying to tell me that if it was free education that was imposed, then non Igbos should be exempted? well - NOT.
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by ow11(m): 8:18pm On Jun 01, 2009
NINETOFIVE:


This is a very good idea and there should be no exemption, I grew up in Yoruba land and at such I had to study Yoruba language, are you trying to tell me that if it was free education that was imposed, then non Igbos should be exempted? well - NOT.

Was there a 10 grand fine hanging over your head if you failed?
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by NINETOFIVE(m): 8:23pm On Jun 01, 2009
ow11:

Was there a 10 grand fine hanging over your head if you failed?

The fine issue is a different ball game, and is unrealistic.
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by udezue(m): 8:37pm On Jun 01, 2009
I SUPPORT THE BILL. IF WE CAN VALUE THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE THEN WHY NOT OUR OWN NATIVE LANGUAGE IGBO? I don't care whether you are from Sierra leone. If you are in Anambra state you are in Igbo land hence you can get out if you don't want to hear the language or deal with it. I had to take Spanish in the US to graduate from Highschool and my world hasn't crumbled.
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by NINETOFIVE(m): 8:48pm On Jun 01, 2009
udezue:

I SUPPORT THE BILL. IF WE CAN VALUE THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE THEN WHY NOT OUR OWN NATIVE LANGUAGE IGBO? I don't care whether you are from Sierra leone. If you are in Anambra state you are in Igbo land hence you can get out if you don't want to hear the language or deal with it. I had to take Spanish in the US to graduate from Highschool and my world hasn't crumbled.

Gbam!
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by OluToye: 9:01pm On Jun 01, 2009
The fine and forcing people to wear igbo attire is unreasonable. But the language stuff makes sense. What's the point of Anambra being an igbo state if people dont speak the very igbo. And for all the talk about non-igbo's shouldnt be forced well that's rubbish. They should speak igbo if their living in an igbo state. No one is saying you can't speak english at school or work just learn the language of the state.
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by SapeleGuy: 10:08pm On Jun 01, 2009
I think it is a great step and other areas in the country should also promote their own languages. If you don't want your kid to learn the language of the place in which you live, then find somewhere else to live.
The fine is okay, another positive step in reducing dependence on oil revenue.
By the way, the french fine their radio & TV stations when they broadcast too much english content.
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by junijustin: 10:20pm On Jun 01, 2009
In my opinion, this is a good development provided it is implemented with the right approach. I agree with the point that non-igbos should be exempted from this.

On the issue of the onus being on parents at home. Well, that is true, except that the schools have to do their own part. Personally, I learnt Igbo only is school in Enugu. Not because we spoke English at home, but given that I'm from Abakaliki, my dialect (which we spoke at home) was not central Igbo but izii. So insisting on Igbo learning in school can make up for the lack of the language at home.

I can appreciate how important this is because I live in Wales. I can cite this as a case study. As a response to the domination of English in past centuries, the welsh have a bi-lingual policy for schools and public places. Every sign post (such as traffic signs) in Wales, must have a welsh translation. Announcements at train stations and cinemas must be translated to Welsh. In schools, notices and all communication must have a welsh translation. Students can opt to take their courses and exams in Welsh (and many do). If for instance you go to the Cardiff University website, you will notice that the logo reads 'Cardiff University' and 'Prifyscol Caerdydd', which is the welsh translation of 'Cardiff University'. The link 'Cymraeg', switches the website to welsh. In primary schools, the language is cumpulsory.

The point I'm making is that the institutional approach to preserving language can be effective. If they even go as far as insisting like the Welsh do, that all signs and notices should have Igbo translations, it will go a long way to keep the language alive.

The one of dressing though does not make sense to me.

My one kobo.
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by OluToye: 10:47pm On Jun 01, 2009
SapeleGuy:

The fine is okay, another positive step in reducing dependence on oil revenue.


My guy you wern't serious when you said the abover where you?
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by bawomolo(m): 11:01pm On Jun 01, 2009
learning a language should be optional and not mandatory.
Re: Anambra's Igbo Language Bill by OluToye: 11:12pm On Jun 01, 2009
bawomolo:

learning a language should be optional and not mandatory.

So you opted to learn english and not french and not portugese. You had a choice right? Lol, sure

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