"An advocate for the inclusion of mother language, not only in education, but other important areas of development, Kola Tubosun shares his thoughts on mother tongue and the prospects in development, for International Mother Language Day." - Editor's note
Guest Writer: Kola Tubosun
Let me start from where we all agree: language is important, and so is education. Where the disagreement usually comes is when we insist that mother tongue education is the most important education of all. The ability to speak is a crucial aspect of our humanity. Not just speech, by the way, but language. Those unable to utter speech have found other ways to communicate through sign languages. But let’s talk about speech -- our ability to vocally communicate our deepest thoughts. Along with our ability to stand erect (monkeys have that, after all), it is the only thing separating us from animals. Whether one be an Eskimo in the north pole, an aborigine in Australia, a native American in North Dakota, or an Igbo man in Enugu, one thing that we all share is our ability to vocally respond to our environment with dexterity, creativity, and originality; the ability to speak in ways never before conceived by any other person. The ability to speak in one’s mother tongue only intensifies the peculiarity of that experience.