Mother tongue connects people to their root; it defines people, revealing their true background. It helps more in teaching and in learning. Around Africa, authors have written books and papers on the significance of using mother tongue in teaching children in classrooms.
Many around the African continent today are living under the illusion that speaking mother tongue is degrading. Mostly in West Africa, the use of mother tongue is another method of identifying people who are not well schooled.
The societal believe nowadays is that intelligent and well schooled follows should speak English fluently only thereby pushing away mother-tongue.
Regardless of the portfolio a person carries, if he speak mother tongue in some places, he get immediate judgement of not going to school. But such believe is very wrong. The truth is that, no amount of exposure, sophistication and learning will undermine the importance of mother tongue.
Mother tongue connects people to their root; it defines people, revealing their true background. It helps more in teaching and in learning. Around Africa, authors have written books and papers on the significance of using mother tongue in teaching children in classrooms. Many scholars have organized conferences, seminars and workshops to discuss the way forward in making the use of mother tongue a first choice language in schools.
Non-governmental organizations and different groups have produced materials that will aid the education of a child in the child’s first language. Unfortunately many of this information and materials seem not to be reaching the people that should use them. Sometimes when it gets to them it is not in a way that communicates its importance.
It is also possible that those in appropriate position to make changes in this regard are not convinced yet. Which is a possible reason most parents do not use mother tongue in communicating with their kids at home. And they grow into promoters of the misconception of seeing mother tongue as a means of identifying an unlettered person.
African children, including grownups, come home from the West to speak foreign language to elderly people. You see a person travels for two weeks holiday and come home to speak foreign language to siblings. Doing all of that makes one a second class human.
Scholars should step out of the seminar and workshops and be more practical in showing the importance of mother tongue. The media should publish papers, and other content in mother tongue.
Finally, living on borrowed culture gives no original stand. Promote unique African traditions and values.