Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education in Nigeria: A Remote Reality

Volume 6 No. 2 June 2021


Over the years, the Nigerian government has made endless promises to develop the orthography of more Nigerian languages for the easy implementation of MTBME. In spite of that, Nigeria is still far from making MTBME a reality. Studies on language policy in Nigeria have focused more on teachers’ pedagogical practices but what goes on in teacher preparation programmes, especially at the colleges of education (COEs) where they are trained is a wide research gap. No language policy can work if teachers are not adequately trained to implement it. Using the UTME syllabus as a source of data, this study investigated the extent to which the Nigerian languages are taught at the COEs and the geographical distribution of the institutions where the languages are taught. The result shows a very poor representation of the indigenous languages in the COEs. Besides, most private-owned COEs do not offer indigenous languages courses. The
minority languages are confined to institutions located within their respective speech communities. The implication is that Nigerians teachers are hardly prepared for the MTBME which they are expected to implement.

Keywords: Language Policy, Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education, Minority Languages, Literacy in Nigeria, Medium of Instruction


Eucharia Okwudilichukwu Ugwu
Department of Arts and Social Sciences Education,
University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria


Eucharia Okwudilichukwu Ugwu. Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education in Nigeria: A Remote Reality. Journal of Arts and Social Sciences Education, 6(2), 61-92.

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