Multilingualism and Teacher Preparation for the Universal Basic Education among Ethnic Minorities in Nigeria

  • MN Ogar
  • MI Ugot

Abstract

The Universal Basic Education (UBE) programmeme was launched by the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure that each child of school going age compulsorily and freely attends school continuously for 9 years. Specifically, it is aimed at inculcating literacy, numeracy and life skills for entrepreneurship and national development. Also
language teaching and learning is one of the core components for achieving the UBE goals. Although the National Policy on Education stipulates the learning of at least three languages on completion of Junior Secondary School by each learner, the Nigerian linguistic environment which is evidently multilingual poses some challenges and setbacks for language teaching and learning among ethnic minorities. The absence of adequate orthographies, materials and personnel in the languages and a general apathy in studying the indigenous languages were identified as impediments for realising the objectives of
the UBE programmeme. A paradigm for language development and teacher preparation was presented. It was concluded that a systematic approach which ensures the interactive rather than the linear rrelationships of the steps provided should be adopted to achieve the
language objectives.
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eISSN: 1813-2227