Comfort, in Jukun traditional attire. Most Jukun can speak their language
A Director in the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs Chinyere Nwokorie, has advised parents to insist that their children communicate with them regularly in their mother tongues.
Nwokorie gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
She expressed worry that some local languages might go into extinction due to inability of some children to speak and understand their mother tongues.
The director said that some children and even parents wrongly felt that expressing one’s self in one’s mother tongue was primitive.
”They will rather want to relate with anybody in English; this is not good,” she said.
According to her, children should be given a sense of belonging to their origin, language and culture, right from home.
The director added that children should be made to embrace and speak their mother tongues.
“Talking about children understanding and speaking in our native languages, the truth is that everything starts from the home, where parents are expected to play a major role.
“It is important for mothers and fathers to be relating with their children in their native languages at the early years of their children’s, so that they will grow knowing it and not struggle to learn it as adults.
“English, we all know, is a common language which is applied in teaching in schools. This is unlike diverse languages according to tribes in Nigeria,” she said.
The director said that children had greater chances to know foods, dressing and the general culture of their tribes, if properly brought up in their mother tongues.
The director added that such as step would give children a sense of belonging to their tribes and make them to be proud to speak their languages.
“Abroad, some Nigeria parents endeavour to teach their children their local languages, particularly those lucky to have their aged ones living with them, and they are progressing,” she, however, said.
She described local languages as the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing tangible and intangible cultural heritage in human civilisation. (NAN)