Benin – The Edo Commissioner for Education, Mr Gideon Obhakhan, has said that the teaching of Edo Language and its history in schools was a good initiative as it would help in the preservation of Edo culture.
It will be recalled that the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare 11, during his coronation last week, called for the inclusion of Edo language, as well as its history in the school curriculum.
Meanwhile, Obhakhan has said that the Edo government had yet to decide whether the teaching of the language would be made compulsory or optional in both private and public schools in the state.
‘’I don’t think it is out of place for the Oba of Benin to suggest the inclusion of the Edo language and Benin History in the schools’ curriculum in the state.
‘’And as for us, we will also consider inputs from reputable people in the society.
‘’Edo language is already being taught in some schools in the state.
‘’But the idea of making the language compulsory in both private and public schools is what we will consider in our discussion.
‘’Private schools usually decide what they teach; ours is to set the standard for them and the schools can modify that to suit their needs.
‘’You may not be able to force people to do languages, as that may depend on the courses they want to read in the future.
‘’There are ways to do these things and get the benefit, without necessarily making it compulsory.
‘’If taking a decision to make it compulsory is what we are going to do, then sending it across and ensuring that people comply with it will not be a problem,’’ he said.
The commissioner also said that there were teachers who could teach languages in the state, noting that more could be recruited, if the need arose.
‘’Once we make a decision on teaching of the Edo language, we will know how to spread the teachers across the state.
‘’If they are not enough, we can always recruit more people,’’ he said.
Also, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Edo, Mr Mike Uhumwangho, in a separate interview said that ‘’it is a good decision to teach Edo language in schools in the state.
‘’It is a good decision, because when you go to some states such as the Igbo and Yoruba-speaking states, their languages are taught in schools, both in writing and orally.
‘’If the language is to be taught in schools in the state, Edo subject teachers should be recruited to teach the language and its history at both primary and secondary levels,’’ he added.