Anambra Library Takes Igbo Language Gospel To Schools

By Izunna OkaforĀ 
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Students and teachers of Igbo descent have been urged to always communicate in Igbo language in their various schools and homes across the Igbo land and beyond.

The Director, Anambra State Library Board (also known as Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library, Awka), Dr. Nkechi Udeze, gave the advice while interacting with students, pupils and teachers of various schools in Awka, Anambra State Capital.

The interaction which took place during the Library's tour to the schools, was in commemoration of the 2021 International Mother Language Day.

Dwelling on this year's theme of the celebration —"Fostering Multilingualism for Inclusion in Education and Society " —she acknowledged that it is a good thing for one to learn and be able to speak multiple languages due to its numerous benefits; but however noted that anyone who forgets or loses his indigenous language has automatically forgotten or lost his identity, as both are inseparable.

While urging the youngsters to learn how to perfectly speak, write and read in Igbo language as their forefathers did, so as to preserve it from going into extinction in their own time; the State Librarian also advised teachers and parents to be advocates and promoters of the Language in their schools and homes by always speaking, teaching and allowing their wards to communicate with it any time, any day.

She said, "Any teacher or parent that beats or punishes an Igbo child for speaking Igbo Language commits an abomination, and deserves to be accordingly dealt with. Igbo language promotion should be every Igbo person's responsibility; and there is no better time to do it than now, if we must save this precious heritage of ours –the Igbo Language –from going extinct in few years to come, as predicted by the UNESCO."

On her own part, Librarian Uche Ekweozor of the Lending Section, Anambra State Central E-Library, Awka, outrightly condemned the attitude of some Igbo people who claim to be ashamed of speaking Igbo Language, urging those with such mentality to jettison it, and to value, leverage and be proud of their mother tongue, due to its unending benefits.

In their separate reactions and votes of thanks, the Head Mistress of Udodimma Primary School, Nodu Okpuno, Mrs. Ata Mary; the Principal/Manager of St. Mary's College, Awka, Rev. Fr. Angelo Obiakor; and some teachers —Mr. Okoye John and Mrs Ebere Okeke of St. Mary's College, Awka —appreciated the Library for bringing the message to their doorstep. They promised to do their best to ensure that Igbo Language is adequately spoken in their respective schools henceforth, in line with the Library's recommendation.

Rev. Fr. Obiakor also pledged to re-invite the Library in no distant time, for another of such event, to be organised in a much bigger way.

Aside the interactions, the event also featured the official presentation of a banner containing a reminding quote on the benefits of speaking Igbo Language, donated by the Library, to each of the schools visited.