Lagos Assembly Set To Strengthen Use of Yoruba Language With New Bill
The Lagos State House of Assembly is set to strengthen the use of Yoruba Language in all the schools in the state and across the state generally.
This was revealed during plenary on Thursday by the Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Hon. Olanrewaju Ogunyemi as he read the committee’s report on a proposed law
The Bill is entitled, “A Bill for a Law To Provide for the Preservation and Promotion of the Use of Yoruba Language and for Connected Purposes.”
According to the Bill, which has passed second reading, it would be compulsory for all primary and secondary schools in the state to include teaching of Yoruba Language as a core subject at all levels.
The bill also provides that all the laws in the state would be translated into Yoruba Language.
Moreso, all state- owned tertiary institutions are to incorporate the use of Yoruba Language in the General Studies (GNS) courses.
According to the bill, “The use of Yoruba Language shall be an acceptable means of communication between individuals, establishment, corporate entities and government in the state if so desired by the concerned.
“It shall not be an offence for a person to speak Yoruba Language by the state government.”
It was added that any school that fails to comply with the provisions of Section 2 of the law commits an offence and is liable on first violation to issuance of warning and on subsequent violation be closed down and also pay a fine of N500,000.
Ogunyemi added in an interview with journalists later that the committee might change a provision in the bill that it would take effect after two years of its passage as most of the members wanted it to start immediately after it is signed into law by the Governor.
The lawmaker added that the Lagos State House of Assembly is passionate about Yoruba Language, which is why it adopted the language for plenary on Thursdays.
According to him, “the National Policy on Education provides that the language of an environment should be spoken in schools, which is why Yoruba Language is being adopted in Lagos schools.
“After the passage of the bill into law, it would become compelling for schools to speak Yoruba Language. We want to preserve the language for generations yet unborn.”
On private schools, the lawmaker stated that they were part of the foundation of the bill and that they were at meetings the committee held across the education districts in the state.
He added that the private schools would have no choice than to key into the project as the school owners have been properly mobilised and that the state Ministry of Education would ensure compliance.
On the translation of the laws into Yoruba Language, Ogunyemi said that this was to ensure that illiterates were taking along in the scheme of things in the state.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa in his remarks observed grey area in the new section of the Bill which gives necessary implementation of the provisions of the law and recommended that it should be deleted.
In his response, Hon. Ogunyemi stated that “the recommendation arose from the stakeholders who had pleaded for more time due to lack of teachers and to provide necessary facilities to aid its teachings”.
Members thereafter adopted the recommendations as a resolution of the House.