UNIZIK first to make Igbo language study compulsory in S'East - VC

UNIZIK first to make Igbo language study compulsory in S’East – VC

Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Prof Charles Esimone has disclosed that the institution was the first in the entire southeast to make study of Igbo language compulsory.

Esimone made the disclosure at the press conference ahead of lunching of ‘500 OCHIE Igbo STEM Project’ conceived to use Igbo language to advance studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

He argued that Nigeria would make a great advancement if she followed what other countries did by following STEM.

He said, “We are at a stage where people now define literacy to where people can speak English, French and German which is wrong. It is a very faulty definition.

“That is why UNIZIK is the first University in the South East to make study of Igbo language compulsory.”

Earlier, Executive Director, OCHIE Igbo STEM School, Okoro Chinedum Benedict described the project whose other directors would be inaugurated on Friday, March 16, as a prolegomenon to Igbo Silicon Valley.

He added that the project would lead Ndigbo into another emergent programme that has the potentials to unlock the future of Igboland unerringly. 

According to him, the project was conceived in 2021 when the group immediately approached Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka for collaboration which the Vice Chancellor gave his express approval.

Okoro said: “OCHIE Igbo STEM Project is born of the conscious desire to unbundle the clog, barrier and harrowing experiences imposed on native speakers of Igbo language who find it difficult coping with English language. 

“The project is a benign search to harness the gains associated with teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics using the mother tongue. 

“Unarguably, this is the framework that the Asian Tigers like Japan, Indian, China, Korean leveraged on to earn their deserved place in the world of science, innovation and information technology. 

“This underscores a society that was founded in tutelage and grooming and through intentional supervision with expected outcomes. This process of knowledge transfer and the attendant supervision arms the child with relevant and requisite tools to delve into the realm of science, technology, engineering and mathematics with unassuming confidence”.

He said that the 500 million OCHIE Igbo STEM Project is in phases, namely: development of a curriculum for STEM that will suit the Igbo environment, the transliteration of the developed STEM curriculum wherein Igbo will be the language of instruction and evaluation and the opening up miniature Silicone Valley at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka for the enrolment of kids from all over the world.

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