- Educational experts are making a case for an indigenous language policy with the help of digital technology
- Leading the conversation is the Centre for Digitization of Indigenous Languages, an African cloud-based software organization
- The organisation noted that having the right indigenous language policy can help a significant proportion of the Nigerian population gain access to quality education
Lagos - The Centre for Digitization of Indigenous Languages (CDIAL) on Wednesday, March 2, held a panel session at the 2022 social media week with the theme “Localizing Digital, Digitizing Local: making the case for Indigenous Language Policy.”
During the event, experts offered insights into the potential benefits of localized digital platforms to African citizens and businesses, from startups to large corporations, especially in the creative, healthcare, financial and agricultural sectors.
Speaking during the panel session, the founder of CDIAL, Yinka Iyinolakan, said that education is essential, and having the right Indigenous language policy can help a significant proportion of the Nigerian population gain access to quality education even without them being able to speak the English Language.
He stated that there was a need for Nigeria to own its languages and culture by embracing digitalization to aid the provision of infrastructure and get the right products and information into the right hands.
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He also reiterated the importance of collaboration, stating that everybody has a role in ensuring that opportunities are expanded to people who don’t speak English.
“The government needs to be involved in the digitization of indigenous languages. It is important to note that policy reforms are a long process, but the people make up the government.
“They can, through effective collaboration, ensure that Indigenous language policy is instituted and implemented.”
He also noted that the average urban resident Nigerian speaks at least three languages, and for an indigenous language policy, all languages must be recognised through inclusiveness.
Furthermore, Iyinolakan noted the importance of embracing digitisation through the use of machine language that can help solve education, financial, and security problems.
“By encouraging localisation through collaboration with the private sector, the government, and individuals, we can take the quantum leap into the future we desire for Africa.
“Together we can digitise our local languages and create an amazing impact in a way that will scale growth and development.”
TechHer, Commonwealth of Learning Partner to train Nigerian Secondary Schools
In a related development, TechHer, a platform set up to demystify technology and provide support, learning, and collaboration for women, in partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning, has commenced the School Tour project for 700 students drawn from 10 secondary schools in Abuja.
The training continues the organisation's previous work as part of its Digital Literacy program targeting mainly women and girls.
In a press statement sent to Legit.ng on Monday, February 14. Soniya Dawarga, TechHer’s program officer, said the current project phase seeks to create partnerships, build volunteer networks, digital literacy clubs, and develop a digital literacy training curriculum for the secondary schools.
Social media, tool for promoting cultural diversity, says Promise Emmanuel
Meanwhile, Promise Emmanuel, the chief press secretary to the deputy governor of Kogi state, Chief Edward Onoja, on Saturday, February 5, revealed that social media will continually reinforce cultural diversity.
Emmanuel added that the medium will also open windows for further studies on the various human personality traits.
He stated this as a guest speaker during the 2022 Kogi Social Media Awards held in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital with the topic: “The Power of Cultural Diversity and How Social Media Shapes the Personality of People.”