Science Subjects: Why Government Wants Them Taught in Native Languages for Primary Schools


The Federal Government has announced plans to teach science subjects in native languages, because it is worried about students’ low interest in them.

Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, disclosed that the plan is aimed at encouraging the application of science and technology in the country.

The Minister made the disclosure at the weekend when he presented mobile science kits donated by the Ministry to pupils of Ekulu Primary School, Enugu.

According to Onu, a research carried out by his ministry showed that the use of foreign languages in teaching the subjects was responsible for the low interest.

Chief Ogbonaya Onu

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Onu said the research indicated that a child who lived with his parents in the first five years was likely not to understand science and technology subjects taught in foreign languages.

He said; “Teaching our children in foreign languages would create a serious challenge, especially when they had become familiar with the indigenous languages while living with their parents.

It is necessary that we review the curriculum in our system. When that is accomplished, the much talked-about challenge would be a thing of the past.

We believe that this plan will help our students to understand mathematics and the science subjects, and also promote the application of science and technology for national development.”

The Minister disclosed that some countries that were making advancement in science and technology, such as India, adopted a similar strategy by teaching mathematics and the science subjects in indigenous languages at the primary school level.

He insists that Nigeria would remain an import-dependent nation if the citizens did not embrace science and technology.

Onu said we are exporting our jobs by importing everything we need, and that is why our graduates are no longer able to get jobs after their studies, stressing that we can’t produce anything without science and technology.

The minister reiterated that Nigerians must embrace science and technology in order to build the country of our dreams, adding that it is his duty as the minister of science and technology to make Nigerians to understand this.

Similarly, the Executive Chairman of the Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB), Mr. Ikeje Asogwa, explained that advanced countries in the world developed because they had a sustainable policy on science and technology.

On the sidelines of this, reports reveal that schools’ curriculum might be reviewed to incorporate the use of local languages in primary and secondary schools.

On the other hand, the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) has blamed poor quality teachers on the failure of colleges of education to implement its prescribed curriculum.

The Head of Quality Assurance of NCCE, Mr. Ayoade Ajao, stated this in a lecture at the Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), Omu-Ijebu, Ogun State.

In the same vein, the Registrar of Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Professor Josiah Olusegun Ajiboye, said that most facilities that would have aided the production of highly qualified professional teachers are “lacking in our education system, which results in the production of poor quality teachers.”

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Ajiboye, also said lack of definite structures and strategies in funding education, as well as “perennial crisis of funding” also constitutes some of the major constraints besetting the sector in the country.