–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –By Albert OGRAKA/ Michael EKOKORUWE:
The National Association of Teachers of Languages in Colleges of Education and Polytechnics, has held its silver Jubilee/ 25th annual national conference and workshops towards peaceful co-existence, National cohesion and development in Nigeria.
The four days conference and workshop opening ceremony held at the mini auditorium of Delta State Polytechnic Ozoro, Isoko North local government area of Delta State, has the theme; “Language Literature and Communication for Peaceful Coexistence, National Cohesion and Development”.
In his opening address, the convener and national president of National Association of Teachers of Languages in Colleges of Education and Polytechnics, Mr. Nwoko A.N., hinted on peace and prosperity of the nation. He emphasized that the association has held several conferences at different zones within the country, which according to him focused on vital areas of Nigeria economy that requires solution.
Nwoko noted that national peaceful coexistence and cohesion in Nigerian needs collective efforts. He stated that the association needs government assistance to enable teachers use the language effectively towards achieving effective communication for sustainable development.
Also speaking, Dr. (Barr) Patricia Izuka Tom, dean school of general studies, Delta State polytechnic Ozoro, represented by Mr. Sam Agbagbatu, head of department Arts and Humanities, Delta State polytechnic Ozoro, stressed on the language as a general medium of communication. She reiterated the impotence of enlightened rudiments of English language, so that its use will not be misinterpreted.
Dr. Patricia noted that, experience has shown that English language is the main medium of fake news in Nigeria which according to her has created lots of conflicts between tribes and religious groups, government and citizens in Nigeria. She sued for a better understanding of the language for peaceful coexistence and stability in Nigeria.
While delivering the keynote address on “Has the Arts the propensity to provoke peace and National Development, Rethinking the utility of Arts in the age of Crisis”, professor Ogaga Okuyade of the department of English and literature studies, Niger Delta university, urged leaders at various level of government to use dialogue as a means of resolving crisis and enforce the rule of law for peaceful coexistence and national development.
On his part the rector of Delta State polytechnic Ozoro, Professor O.J. Odiete, represented by the deputy rector James Love Kperegbeyi, bemoaned on the domiciliation of some English language and communication in English courses in the department of Office Technology and Management(OTM), which according to him is generating confusion among staff and other school. He called on the association to reach out to relevant agencies and resolve the problem amicably.
Other lead paper presenter at the conference was Dr. Femi U. Balogun. The subject of his presentation was “ language and communication for peaceful coexistence, national cohesion and development, what role for the polytechnic”. Balogun disclosed that language and communication facilitate peaceful coexistence which conduces to national cohesion and development.
He recommends the establishment of departments of English of languages in all polytechnic for the studying of documents and invention and make them relevant to the society, noting that the growth and flourishing of languages leads to purposeful development and national cohesion.
Balogun posited that graduates of English, linguistics and other foreign languages be given automatic employment both in the state and federal polytechnics, so that they can help in the identification, codification, standardization and preservation of all endangered languages.
Dr. Ojogan Izehiese of the department of English, college of education, Warri, Delta State in her presentation on the subject; “ literature peaceful coexistence, National cohesion and development said, no nation can function without harnessing human and material resources as prerequisite for national cohesion and development, stressing that lack of peace deprives people to live in harmony.
She maintained that the place of literature in the primary and secondary school curricula be emphasized and made compulsory, adding that Mathematics and English should be a core aspect of general studies program. Ojogan stressed that in selecting literary texts for study, consideration should be given to texts with thematic contents geared towards achieving peaceful coexistence, national cohesion and development.
In attendance was the chairman of Isoko North local government area, hon. Emmanuel Egbabor, represented by Mr. Kome, secretary to the local government area, Pastor Joseph O. Ikupa, chairman local organizing committee, some members of national executive council of the association and members of language unit of Delta State polytechnic Ozoro, local organizing committee.