1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Language in education has been a contentious issue in Africa (Rafiu, 2011) it's attracted a substantial quantity of dispute from each language consultants and specializers. This can be thus thanks to the multiplicity of languages within the continent. Education can't be single from language. Education, in keeping with Awoniyi (2009) is supposed to be embedded within the society, drawing inspiration and nourishment from it and successively, causative to social group opportunities for growth and renewal. However, the languages that area unit imagined to be used for formal and non-formal education area unit quick facing extinction. Whereas a number of them are pronounced dead, several area unit at the variable degree of loss (Rafiu 2011). Given the speed at that languages area unit dying, one may handily say that the support that the natural language ought to be won’t to teach in faculties for higher performance, particularly at the first faculty level is changing into infeasible. This can be thus as a result of the endangerment of a number of these languages has shifted their use in bound vital domain like playground, recreation centres markets etc. This is further made worse as there are no written materials on the majority of the languages in question. Mother-tongue in education refers to the use of the native language or the first language to teach at formal and non-formal levels. Mother-tongue in education is situated within the general concept of language in education. It is claimed that no educational system stands apart from the society which establishes it (Awoniyi, 2009). This presupposes that for a society to be in the right direction, education must be given its rightful place. Given the assertion that education is embedded in the society, the medium through which the norms of the society are packaged and handed down to generations, therefore, becomes very important. For mother-tongue in Nigeria education to be appreciated, we need to look at it from the formal and non-formal perspective. Mother-tongue is the language a child first encountered as he grows up. Through this medium, he is exposed at the non-formal level; to the techniques and skills of communicating with is peer, elders and parents. Stories, myths, legends, songs, and alternative ancient practices, that square measure given in first language, play a significant role during this regards and in getting ready himself for the larger society and even larger challenges. At the formal education level, however, the Nigerian kid is two-faced with the task of learning alternative languages he comes in-tuned with Bamgbose (2013). In most cases, the Federal Republic of Nigeria kid isn't privileged to be schooled in his mother-tongue. He might get to traumatize a language of wider communication e.g. (English language). Hausa language is one amongst the autochthonic languages in Federal Republic of Nigeria. It's the mother-tongue of individuals in nine states in Federal Republic of Nigeria. These square measure Sokoto, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Bauchi, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, and Gombe states square measure main areas that talk the Hausa language in Federal Republic of Nigeria Abijo (2009). As a results of the multiplicity of languages in Africa, English has been adopted because the official language of presidency, business, education and mass media. English is therefore vital that it assumes a bigger standing than Nigerian languages. It so reduces the scope of Nigerian languages. The consequence of this is often that, Nigerian equates formal education with the data of English. Hence, some educated Nigerians believe that there's nothing value learning in Nigerian languages. Rather, they pride oneself in their command of English as being equivalent to” intellectual competence” Abijo (2009). These folks claimed proudly and misplaced sense of accomplishment that they speak the non-inheritable foreign language higher than their first language. The student and the society tend to consider teaching mother-tongue in school as a lazy mans work and for this do not accord much respect to pupils and teachers of the language Adeyinka (2015). The pupils and the society tend to consider the subject as inferior to other school subjects Abijo (2009). It is a policy that Hausa language as one of the three major languages in the country should be used as language of instruction for pupils right from primary one to primary three (FRN, 2014). Not only that, the government considers it to be in the interest of national unity that each child should be encourage to learn not only his own mother-tongue but also another Nigerian language. Experts, governments, linguists, educationists and international bodies like UNESCO have accepted the fact that children learn better through their mother tongue (Adeagbo, 2014). The findings of Ande (1990) and Akinbote (2016) shows that children who were taught different subjects in Hausa language performed significantly better than their counterpart who were taught in English language.
1.2. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Going through the pathetic nature of teaching Hausa language in most of Nigerian public and private primary schools in Nigeria, today, certainly, without an iota of doubt, there is a need to ask this pertinent question-To what extent does the government policy statement of teaching using mother-tongue (Hausa language inclusive) as a medium of instruction in the lower classes of primary schools effective?. And that if not effective, what are those factors hindering its effectiveness in Nigerian primary schools? Despite the popular advocate for the use of mother tongue in the lower classes of our basic education stratum and the benefits accruable from such practices, languages other than mother-tongue had eroded the practice and the benefits , and had almost made the policy statement a mere slogan that had no future enrichment. The present study therefore sought the extent to which the policy had been implemented in Nigerian primary schools and the constraint to the smooth implementation of the policy in all the Hausa speaking states primary schools in Nigeria.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine the assessment on the policy provision in the use of local language as medium of instruction in primary education. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the effectiveness of the mother tongue as a language of instruction on learning abilities of primary school pupils.
2. To examine the perceptions of parents and teachers on the use of the mother tongue as a medium of communication and instruction in primary education;
3. To examine the impact of the mother tongue as a language of instruction on the learning abilities of male and female primary school pupils.
4. To examine the challenges that confronts the adoption of an indigenous language as a medium of instruction in primary education in Nigeria and their solutions.
5. To examine the relationship between the use of mother-tongue as a medium of instruction in Nigerian Primary schools and primary education quality.
6. To suggest ways in which implementation of the language policy provisions in primary education can enhance the pupil’s performance.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. How is the effectiveness of the mother tongue as a language of instruction on learning abilities of primary school pupils?
2. What are the perceptions of parents and teachers on the use of the mother tongue as a medium of communication and instruction in primary education?
3. What are the impacts of the mother tongue as a language of instruction on the learning abilities of male and female primary school pupils?
4. What are the challenges that confront the adoption of an indigenous language as a medium of instruction in primary education in Nigeria and their solutions?
5. What is the relationship between the use of mother-tongue as a medium of instruction in Nigerian Primary schools and primary education quality?
6. What are the ways in which implementation of the language policy provisions in primary education can enhance pupil’s performance?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H01: There is no impact of the mother tongue as a language of instruction on the learning abilities of male and female primary school pupils.
H02: There is no significant relationship between use of mother-tongue as a medium of instruction in Nigerian Primary schools and primary education quality.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Research in the field of language policy implementation in primary schools using qualitative methods has not been done or has received little attention. The issue of language-in-education should be of major concern to educators as it has implications on policy development. It is hoped that my study will fill in a gap in methodology and knowledge, and that it may provide a basis for further interventions which empower policy planners and implementers in Nigeria in particular and other African countries in general. Results generated in this study are likely to contribute as a specific action to establish factors that inhibit effective implementation of the language-in-education policy in Nigeria. It will also be a move to address the challenges facing primary school teachers in implementing a mother tongue policy. Insights gained are likely to contribute towards the development of intervention strategies that would empower primary school teachers to effectively implement the policy on the language of education. It is also hoped that if shared with the implementing Ministry, the findings of this study can have an impact on the language-in-education policy implementation through improved participation of teachers. The study will therefore be of significance to ministry of education, policy makers, parents, teachers and learners. The study findings contribute empirical information on perceptions of parents and teachers on mother tongue use in early childhood education. Thereby serving as a basis for further research for the Education Service and other stakeholders on ways promote the on-going National Literacy Acceleration Program.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the assessment on the policy provision in the use of local as medium for instruction in primary: case study of Nasarawa L.G.A.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Local language: It refers to the language spoken in the homes and marketplaces of a community, as distinguished from a regional, national or international language.
National language: Is used in some parts of the world (including subSaharan Africa) to refer to languages unique to the nation as distinguished from international languages (Tabi-Manga, 2014). In other countries, ‘national language’ refers to the official language (Bamgbose, 2013).
Vernacular: It refers to a language that is not formally recognized and that is used in informal contexts only. The term vernacular education has been used to refer to mother tongue-based education, particularly in the Pacific (Siegel, 2011; Litteral, 2014).
Mother-tongue instruction or mother-tongue medium instruction: It refers to the use of the learner’s mother tongue as a medium of instruction (UNESCO, 2008).
Bilingual education: It refers primarily to the use of two languages in a formal education system (UNESCO, 2008). Bilingual education need not include a local language; however the most common type of bilingual education (also called mother-tongue-based bilingual education) attempts to use the students’ mother tongue somehow in the curriculum. The more extensive the use of the mother tongue for instruction, the ‘stronger’ the bilingual education programme is considered to be (Malone, 2008).
Early Childhood Development: In this study, these are primary school grades which range from ECC (Pre-primary) up to Grade 3.
OTHER SIMILAR EDUCATION PROJECTS AND MATERIALS