Nigeria: Educationist Seeks Greater Emphasis on French Language

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed Jan 31 13:47:41 UTC 2007

Educationist Seeks Greater Emphasis on French Language

 As CITICOLL marks 10th anniversary

By Abimbola Akosile, 01.30.2007

The Director of Educational Services of Citizens Comprehensive College
(CITICOLL), Epe, Lagos, Mrs. Moradeun Ajayi-Smith, has called for the
promotion of the French Language in the nation's centres of learning; even
as the College prepares for its 10th Anniversary, billed for October.
CITICOLL was established in October, 1997 by the African Citizens
Development Foundation (ACDF), a non-profit and non-governmental
organisation. It is said to be one of the lowest fee-paying school, for
its quality education delivery in Nigeria. All students are initially
registered as ACDF student members.

In a statement issued by the Foundation, Ajayi-Smith said the college
admission exercise would aim at admitting average students from the age of
10 years, in compliance with the policy of ACDF to give qualitative
education to African students no matter their economic status. "Our
educational programme evolves around making our students self-reliant,
cultured and internationally acceptable after graduation.  Our decision to
make the students proficient in French language is in line with the
Ministry of Education's policy on French language. Our students are taken
to these institutions in Republic of Benin and Togo for training in French
language every session", she said.

She explained that the promotion of the French Language is a top-most
priority for CITICOLL in this academic session, adding that the bi-lingual
educational process was coined from the policy of franco-phone countries
which make the study of English language compulsory in its secondary
schools to ensure their citizens speak both French and English as their
national languages. She disclosed that the institution has entered into
partnership with the French Cultural Centre in Lagos and three French
institutions namely Lycee Benhanzin and Lycee Tofa (both in Port Novo,
Republic of Benin), and Village du Benin in Togo.

Senegal is one of the franco-phone countries where all citizens are
expected to master both English and French languages, in addition to
Wolof, a national dialect. The school's admission exercise for the 2007/08
academic session begins in February, with an emphasis on the selection of
average students for admission, while the October anniversary celebrations
will feature lectures, tours, cultural displays, Church and Jumat
services. The Director of Educational Services further explained that
there would be a two-day ACDF youth conference, which will bring together
all life members (CITICOLL graduates), many of whom are currently in
universities in Nigeria, USA, France, the United Kingdom and other parts
of the world; with resource persons drawn from concerned countries
including Nigeria.

According to her, "the college's topmost goal is to prepare African
children as future leaders." Although it started as a free tuition school
initially, it now offers tuition subsidy, which has been of benefit to
several indigent and orphaned students of the school, who are now
university under-graduates. To help cushion the effect of the withdrawal
of a part of the subsidy, Ajayi-Smith said ACDF has embarked on a
full-scale agricultural project where farm produce like chicken, eggs,
fish, vegetables, and yams are produced to complement the college's proper
feeding of the students.  The college, located in Temu, Epe area of Lagos
State, has a 100 percent boarding school, with two separate hostels for
boys and girls; a modern computer laboratory, science and language
laboratories; with a new hostel under construction. A scholarship was set
up in 2000 by ACDF to help bright students; and over 305 students have
graduated from the college since inception in 1997.


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