Worried by the predictions credited to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) barely five years ago that some 6,000 local languages would go into extinction in the next 50 years except something drastic was done to save those languages including ‘Igbo’, a socio-cultura group in Ika Nation, Delta State, ‘Onu-Kokome’, is set to establish a summer School, Ika Academy, to salvage the situation.
The school, which, baring all unforseen circumstances would kick-off this year, is set to bridge the gap, ensuring that Ika Language and culture do not fizzle out as it would be devoted to the teachings of Ika Language and culture during the summer holidays (July to September ) every year.
Revealing this at the weekend in Agbor, administrative headquarters of Ika-South Local Government Area of the state, the President of the group, Mr. Ndidi Efan, said that for a take-off, the group is currently proposing campuses for the school in Agbor, Abuja, Lagos and Port – Harcourt, this year.
Efan who stated this during the official presentation and launch of the maiden Magazine by the group, ‘ODI-NALI, said that aside the school, plans are also in the offing by the group for the establishment of a community Radio station in the area for easy sensitisation and mobilisation of the people.
This, when fully established, according to Efan, will not only boost the job creation vision of the current state government, but that it will encourage the speaking and learning of Ika Language as transmission, he held, would be done in the local dialect.
On the journey so far, Efan noted that the group since it birthed few months ago, had done a number of things as ort of its proactive and pragmatic efforts in ensuring that Ika Language is preserved which among others include; a 30 minutes on Bronze AM, Benin (7:00 pm to 7:30 Pm every Saturday and RayPower 100.5 FI Abuja, (8:00 pm to 8:30 Pm.)
Speaking in the same vein, stakeholders at the official presentation of the Magazine while commending the group for their proactive dispositions in ensuring that Ika Language and culture were preserved collectively called on parents to join the vanguard of advocating for the preservation of Ika Language and culture by ensuring that their Chikdren/wards were taught the language from their respective homes.
They bemoan situations where parents rather than teach their Children their local languages, resort to teaching them ‘Western Languages abd culture which according to them, “is doing us more harm than good”.
Given the development, the President, Onu-Ika, Mr Dan Osifo, said that plans are in the offing by the group to have an interface with the management of the College of Education, Agbor, for the possible introduction of Ika Department in the college.
Osifo, while lamenting the abolishment of History in the current secondary school curriculum, posited that the act was part of the reasons easing the speedy erosion of African culture in the country just as he revealed that as part of efforts by the apex Socio-cultura group in the Ika Nation, Onu-Ika, Ika Dictionary would be launched anytime soon, this year.
Similarly, the Dean of Studies, School of Information, Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, Mr. Godwin Ibe, while reviewing the Magazine, condemned the attitude of some individuals, particularly those in the corridors of power who, rather than embrace their language and culture, during an interface with their kith and kin, rebuffs it in preference for western culture and language.
This according to Ibe, should be discourage just as he harped on the need for all sons and daughters of Ika Nation to rise up to the challenge of preserving the local language and