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STEM Subjects to be Taught in Indigenous Languages – FG



Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu

The Federal Government says primary and secondary schools in the country will soon start teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in indigenous languages.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu said this at the inauguration of inter-ministerial committee in teaching of Mathematics and Science subjects in Local languages in Abuja on Wednesday.

The inter-ministerial committee involved Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Education.

He said the inter-ministerial committee would help to develop the capacity of the local languages to serve as effective tools for teaching mathematics and science subjects.

According to him, the project will help Nigerian students to understand mathematics and science subjects better.

He said the project would also promote the application of science and technology for national development.

The minister expressed concern of the government over the low interest in mathematics and the science subjects by students.

Onu said various countries like India, China adopted a related strategy by teaching mathematics and the science subjects in their indigenous languages at the primary school level.

He added that those countries were making advancement in science and technology.

“For us to build the country of our dreams, for us to make Nigeria a truly great nation, a nation that is able to feed and house its citizens, a nation with a stable currency, we must embrace science and technology.

Nigeria will remain dependent nation if the citizens did not embrace science and technology, because no nation can become great without science and technology.

If Nigeria is to be great then, Nigerians must embrace science and technology.

The socio-economic challenges we are facing in the country is as a result of inadequate application of science and technology,” he said.

Onu said that graduates were no longer able to get jobs after their studies because the nation imports everything it needed.

Earlier, Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said using mother tongue to teach Science and mathematics will certainly help and ensure better understanding of the of the subjects.

Adamu, who was represented by Dr Useni Adamu, Director overseeing the office of the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said that the project would facilitate a major breakthrough in the area of Science and Technology.


  1. me again

    May 31, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    pls what is gravitational force in all the nigerian language…….this govt just want to implement an unreasonable policy……..then they will now teach stem courses in 3 languages……God forbid……..

    • Wale Vintage

      May 31, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      I think it is a brilliant idea, as long as they teach other subjects like say Yoruba in the English language ?

    • ND Babe

      May 31, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      I am requesting translation on the following from the professor:
      1) Calculus, algebra, Engineering, biology, chemistry, etc
      2) Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle
      3)Adenosine Triphosphate

      Nigeria is in trouble oh. These are the things we are worried about? No be China dey train all those Chinese scientists? Hian.

  2. Darius

    May 31, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    In the North, STEM subjects have been taught in Hausa in most government schools for as long as I can remember, but I’m yet to see any remakable improvement.

    They always cite China and India as countries that have made tremendous progress in Maths and Science because they teach in their respective languages. This argument is flawed! How about other countries in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East that teach in their indigenous languages, but underform in STEM subjects? In Ethiopia, the indigenous language, Amharic, is the medium of instruction in schools. Are they any better than us in STEM subjects?

    In America, kids of Chinese and Indian descent eclipse caucasian and black kids in Maths and Science, despite being taught in English. This is because the Chinese and the Indians set a premium on education. Put Indian or Chinese kids in the same class with Naija kids and and teach them in any indigenous Nigerian language. The Indian and Chinese kids are most likely to outperform Naija kids. This is becoz their parents attach importance to education and they make their children understand that an academically bright child is an honour to his family. They shame their kids into doing well in school. Lets adopt the same approach! It doesn’t matter the medium of instruction. When parents set a premium on education, they make their children understand that failure won’t be tolerated. Naija kids have a very lax attitude to education. I teach so I know what I’m saying. An SS2 student will score 0 in a test or an exam. Instead of him to cry or show remorse for being unserious, he’ll be gallivanting about unperturbed.

    • seriously

      June 1, 2017 at 6:30 pm

      I agree to some extent. But it’s only because Chinese and Indian children put emphasis on education. I believe Nigerian parents do as well. However, Chinese children are brought up with resources provided. It’s not just them shouting, beating you for scoring a C on a test. Chinese and Indian children are involved in a lot of curriculum in math, science, engineering and also things like playing instrument, gymnastic etc This also helps stimulate their brain and widen their creativity. Nigerian education system needs to improve and provide more resources for the students. How can you teach all these subjects when there’s not even a simple lab in the school. It’s not just the students to be blamed but the system needs a whole lot of work.
      Chinese goverment understand that aspect, so they put a lot of money in their education system, advance their innovation and skills.

  3. Nunu

    May 31, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Makes no sense. They want to make things worse with this ‘headless chicken’ policy

  4. Delta geh

    May 31, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    They should teach it well in English first and be successful at it before talking about other languages. This strategy has no direction whatsoever

  5. Everything's rosie

    June 1, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Biko, how do you say “parallelogram” igbo?

  6. 3ples

    June 1, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Nigerians!!!! There is no satisfying you people…. So quick to be negative. If you don’t feel a need for a language based STEM subject, does that mean someone else doesn’t need it? In a country of well over 120 million pple? If the argument was based on the qualification of the teachers, I’d understand. In Germany there are options for Language based or English Technical subjects. Pls people, because sth is not useful to you doesn’t mean it’s not valuable to someone else.

  7. C

    June 1, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    I think it is a brilliant idea if worked well. It’s not like it’s English grammar or vocabulary classes. I’m always in favor of increasing use of African languages over European but it might be a little difficult for kids who move cross country into a new language area like army kids.

  8. nunulicious

    June 1, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Interesting thought but I don’t know how sustainable it would be. We use the grecian alphabet system and at the end of the day, this idea though laudable for its ethnocentric value may not be sustainable.

  9. cherry

    June 2, 2017 at 4:54 am

    So in a class where you have students from at least 3 different ethnic group, yoruba igbo n hausa, what language will the teacher use in teaching, don’t forget Nigeria has over 250 different languages.

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