Lagos Govt resuscitates interest in Arabic teaching in public schools

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The Lagos State Government has rekindled the interest of public school students towards learning the Arabic language with the introduction of teachers to new skills and methodology that will make the process easy and exciting.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a workshop organised by the Ministry of Education for Arabic Teachers across the six education districts of the State, on Thursday, at the Multilingual International Resource Centre, Maryland, Lagos, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs Abosede Adelaja noted that appreciable investments in the Centre, as well as the determination to build the capacity of teachers and administrators in the State’s Public Schools, have begun yielding laudable results.

Arabic teaching in public schools

The Permanent Secretary said the training became necessary as the language remains an important and an all-encompassing element in human life and a key component in effective communication, which undeniably guarantees a harmonious society, maintaining that continuous capacity building at the local and international levels will be of immense advantage to teachers in the State.

Adelaja stressed that the theme for the workshop “Teaching and Learning of Arabic Language in Lagos State Schools: Status, Challenges and the way forward” was apt and clearly depicts the readiness of the government to further improve the teaching and learning of languages in the State.

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According to her, the drive towards Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy requires an in-depth global approach that would transcend platforms and diverse global societies and economies, hence the need to tackle barriers which a deficiency in language may portend.

She revealed that psychological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process, which is quite beneficial for students and empowers them with the right skills and knowledge crucial for their independence and self-reliance in preparation for the future workplace.

She encouraged participants at the event to avail themselves the opportunity of the workshop, noting that the lectures by the seasoned facilitators are avenues for effective service delivery and simplified teaching and learning of their students.

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While welcoming participants, the Director, Multilingual International Resource Centre, Mrs Taiwo Haastrup informed participants that the Arabic language is one of the languages recognised by the United Nations and spoken by people and nations across the globe.

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She said the Multilingual International Resource Centre, MLIRC, is committed to raising proficient indigenous and sovereign language speakers as well as world-class learners of foreign and indigenous languages in a conducive learning environment as provided by the Lagos State Government.

Mrs Haastrup said the centre also serves as a platform for capacity building to mitigate the dearth of Arabic Language teaching and learning in Lagos State Schools and also stem the tide of drafting Arabic language teachers to tutor students in other subjects like Islamic Religious Studies and Civil Education, amongst others.

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In her words, “Our objective for this workshop is to train teachers in effective methodologies on the teaching and learning of Arabic as a foreign language. We also want to encourage and resuscitate the interest of teachers and students in the Learning of Arabic language as a universal means of communication.

We also believe the workshop will spiral an upward increase in enrolment of the Arabic language by students in WAEC and NECO examinations as the teachers prepare themselves for the impactful sessions,” she added.

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