The government is partnering with the Centre for Niger Delta Studies (CNDS) of the state-owned Niger Delta University to start the process of teaching Ijaw language in primary and post-primary schools from September.
Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw National Affairs, Dr. Felix Tuodolo, spoke when he visited the university.
He said Governor Seriake Dickson, who is passionate about promoting the Ijaw language and culture, has provided the political will and the resources to achieve the project.
He said the government would evolve autographs and textbooks in Nembe, Epie/Atissa, Ogbia, Kolokuma and Mem dialects.
The commissioner urged them to work hard to meet the September deadline, adding that the policy of the administration is to ensure that Ijaw dialects were introduced as a subject in the schools.
He said the government was committed to establishing a solid foundation to realise the project.
Tuodolo said: “Language is the first expression of a people. It is for this reason that the ministry is collaborating with the the CNDS to start the process to formally teach Ijaw language in primary and post primary schools in the state in September.
“As a Restoration Government, we will not allow our language and culture to go into extinction.”
He commended the stakeholders at the centre for their zeal in handling the project towards ensuring that the dreams of the government in that direction were realised.
Director, CNDS, Niger Delta University, Dr. Samuel Ibaba, praised the government for the political will to radically change the current trend towards Ijaw culture and language.
He appealed for more resource persons to join the team and also to ensure that the graduates of the CNDS be offered employment to teach the language in schools.
He reasoned that if the centre’s graduates were offered automatic jobs, the development would go a long way in realising the government’s goals in saving the dialects from extinction.