Stakeholders in the education sector with teachers and students from the Department of Foreign Languages, University of Benin (UNIBEN) have emphasised the need for the Federal Government to make French the second official language in Nigeria as part of efforts to promote the language and to create passion for learners.
This was the conclussion of those who participated at the 4th Biennial International Conference of the Department of Forrign Languages of UNIBEN.
Teachers from across the country advocated the promotion of French studies in Nigeria.
Prof. Remi Sonaiya, the Keynote Speaker, who spoke at the event themed, “The importance of the teacher in the promotion of French studies,” advised French teachers to consistently upgrade knowledge in order to remain relevant in a globalised world ruled by Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
According to him, it has been observed to be very difficult promoting disciplines in the humanities due to the importance attached to sciences.
He pleaded with French teachers not to be satisfied with only doing the job and earning salaries but to passionately impact the society with their knowledge of French.
Dr. Stella Omonigho, Head of Department, Foreign Languages made it known that the conference was targeted at discussing how French teachers can motivate and steer up national interest in the language towards making the 1996 declaration by former Head of State, Late Gen. Sanni Abacha on making French the second official language in the country.
She said as custodians of the language in Nigeria, French teachers and stakeholders are to determine the extent they want to take the language to and whether Nigerians develop passion for it or not.
At the end of the conference, the teachers tasked the French embassy alongside other francophone countries in the country to show more commitment to the teaching and learning of French language.
They enjoined various associations of French teachers to mobilise their members to ensure the realisation of the provisions of the national policy on education as it concerns French at the primary ans secondary school levels as well as the National Universities Commission (NUC) to make the language a compulsory general studies course in tertairy institutions.