The Federal Executive Council has approved a new National Language Policy making the various mother tongues compulsory medium of instruction from Primary one to six.

Briefing state house correspondents, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who noted that the policy takes immediate effect, stated that the government is aware that its implementation will be difficult, but necessary to promote the cultivation and use of all Nigerian languages.

He revealed that as of today 29 languages have become extinct, leaving the country with 625 languages.

For this reason, he disclosed that the mother tongue will be used exclusively for the first six years of education, and then combined with the English language from Junior Secondary School.

Adamu said even though the policy has officially taken effect, it can only be fully implemented when government develops instructional materials and qualified teachers are available.

He further explains that the mother tongue to be used in each school will be the dominant language spoken by the community where it is located.

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over the Federal Executive Council Meeting on Wednesday.

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo as well as a number of cabinet members were physically in attendance.

The Ministers include that of Transportation, Muazu Sambo; Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, George Akume; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; Education, Adamu Adamu; Power, Abubakar Aliyu; state for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.

Others are Ministers of Niger Delta affairs, Umana Umana; Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo.

Before the Council meeting, members observed a minute silence in honour of elder statesman and former Minister of Steel Development, Dr. Paul Unongo.

Dr Unongo had held several political positions and was involved in constitutional conferences. Until his death, the late Unongo was Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC)

Radio Nigeria Ibadan had in October raised concerns through a publication on the neglect of Mother Tongue and its implications

Channels TV/Simeon Ugbodovon

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