Nigeria: conference calls for national language policy

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sat Oct 14 14:48:52 UTC 2006

Confab urges FG to review admission policy

 Friday, Oct 13, 2006

The Federal Government has been called upon to review its admission policy
into tertiary institutions nationwide in favour of Arts and Humanities.
The call is contained in a communique issued at the end of a maiden
national conference on National Development: Challenges to Humanities in
the 21st century held at the University of Abuja. The communique, given to
newsmen in Abuja, Tuesday criticised the assessment of national
development in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross National
Product (GNP).

According to the conference participants, this was inadequate. They said
that since national development was purely human development, there was
need to revisit the assumption by giving Arts and Humanities the desired
attention. The communique noted that the field was the surest way of
inculcating real human values in the citizenry to ensure a stable,
peaceful and happy society.

According to the participants, continued government emphasis on learning
science and technology to the neglect of Arts and Humanities was not only
misplaced but dangerous and inimical to the achievement of the Millennium
Development Goals. The participants also called for the immediate
establishment of a national language policy that would cater for the
multilingual and development need of the country. They argued that the
absence of such a policy in the country was a major set back in view of
the role of language in the mobilization of citizens towards any
developmental objective.

They also called for the establishment of language centres and centres of
humanistic studies in all institutions of higher learning in the country
as a panacea for national development. The conference stressed the
importance of Arts and Humanities and urged institutions offering the
courses to review their curriculum to accommodate developmental needs that
would prepare graduates for developmental tasks. Revolutionaries had
always been good students of history or historians themselves, the
communiqu stated.


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