NICO begins indigenous language training in NYSC camps

(NAN) The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) has secured approval from the management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to teach Nigerian languages in NYSC camps.

Chief Biodun Ajiboye, Executive Secretary of NICO, disclosed this in a statement issued in Lagos on Friday by his Media Assistant, Mr Caleb Nor.

Ajiboye said that the move was part of NICO’s efforts to promote Nigeria’s culture.

“Language is a veritable component of culture.

“To this end, the nationwide indigenous language training for corps members by the institute will kick-start with a pilot scheme in Abuja at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp at Kubwa on Thursday, Feb. 29.

“This is with instructional sessions in the three major languages – Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba – as well as the language of the host community which is Gbagyi.

“The on-camp language training is designed for corps members to learn languages other than their mother tongues, especially the language of their host communities, for ease of communication and interaction.

“It is expected that the training will metamorphose into Community Development Service (CDS) groups to further broaden their knowledge of the languages learnt,” he said.

Ajiboye said that by being proficient in the languages, corps members could interact more effectively with members of their host communities and improve in their communication skills during community development initiatives and other interactions.

He said that the programme would foster harmonious coexistence, create a sense of pride in indigenous languages, foster national pride, unity and identity, as well as encourage preservation of the indigenous languages.

He said the institute had, over the years, successfully organised three editions of the indigenous language programme in 15 locations in the country.

According to Ajiboye, the August edition holds annually during long vacation while the weekend edition holds periodically during weekends to enable language learners who are too busy during weekdays to attend.

The barracks edition, he said, was created for officers and men of the military and paramilitary organisations.

“Past beneficiaries and participants of the NICO language training have adjudged the programme worthwhile.

“The enthusiasm with which the programme is accepted shows that NICO has indeed taken a right step in the right direction.

“It is, therefore expected that the NYSC edition of the language programme will serve as a crucial platform for nurturing unity, cultural exchange and national harmony among Nigerian youths,” he said.

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