The Federal Government has declared that all students from primary to tertiary institutions will henceforth learn French language compulsorily. It also said it will embark on an intensive training of more French teachers in its bid to make it the nation’s second official language.
The Minister of State for Education, Prof Anthony Anwukah, stated these in Abuja yesterday when the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Gaver, paid him a courtesy call.
Anwukah said: “French language is a matter of necessity. We have to because we have Cameroon, Niger, Chad, Benin Republic, Togo Guinea, and Ivory Coast surrounding us and so there is need for us to get more Nigerians to become proficient in French language.
“This is good for the continent; it is good for us as a nation. It is good for our brothers at the borders because it will enable us to communicate with them effectively.
Speaking to the envoy on the need to have more French teachers, the minister said: “We plead that you consider it a lot more expedient in helping us train our teachers in French both for the primary school level, secondary level and tertiary level.
“So far, we have demonstrated the enthusiasm to foster the teaching and learning of French in Nigerian schools which are the tertiary, basic and secondary levels and our main concern now is the training of sufficient number of French teachers within our school system.”
The minister also flagged off the French Clinic Project in Federal Government Boys College Apo, Abuja.
Speaking on the project, Anwukah said: “The ministry is geared towards establishing French clinics in 104 government colleges, unity schools.
“We are keen and motivated by the need to actualise our dream of making French language our second language of business in Nigeria.
“The clinic is expected to improve the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills of students.
“It is expected that with these skills, our students will fare better in their examinations and in the world of worth.
Gaver said in the absence of sufficient French teachers, the internet can be employed as a tool for training teachers.