To ensure that Edo does not become extinct, the language is to be made a compulsory subject at the primary and junior secondary levels in the state, Permanent Secretary of the ministry of education, H. Iyawe said yesterday.
Speaking at the matriculation ceremony of 300 Edo language trainee teachers at the College of Education, Ekiadolor, Benin, Mrs Iyawe, who represented the state commissioner for education, Ngozi Osarenren, said Edo Language has also been approved as a school certificate subject at the senior secondary school level.
She commended the Benin Cultural Heritage Centre (BCHC), which provided the scholarship for the students, for collaborating with the College of Education to run the special Edo language programme designed to raise the necessary manpower for teaching the subject.
She assured that at the end of the training, the students would be employed by government and deployed to schools.
Provost of the College of Education, Amenaghawon Uhuangho, said the curriculum of the Edo language programme, designed in collaboration with the University of Benin, was very comprehensive and of a high standard. He commended the Benin Cultural Heritage Centre for providing the resources for the take-off of the programme.
President of the BCHC, Roland Ehigiamusoe, said the special programme to raise Edo language teachers was the only way to reverse the current situation where Edo appears to be drifting into extinction. Mr Ehigiamusoe said never again would Edo people condone what he called the shameful situation of language and cultural colonization.
“Proprietors of all primary and secondary schools in the state must accept their mandatory obligation to employ Edo language teachers to teach the language and even dialects in their diverse localities,” he said. “Otherwise, they would be destructively misinforming and colonizing our children and this would be unacceptable.”