Prof. Roseline Oro Aziza, a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) of Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka has called on native speakers of the Uvwie language spoken majorly in Delta State, Nigeria to make efforts at preserving the language.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Prof. Aziza made the call during the 15th Coronation anniversary of the Ovie of Uvwie, HRM Dr. Emmanuel E. Sideso, Abe I, JP, OON, while stressing on some consequences if the Uvwie language should go extinct.
According to Aziza, language is a characteristic factor that distinguishes one society from another, the custodian of a people’s culture and tradition and a means by which they identify themselves.
Prof. Aziza said: “A child’s native language is called his ‘mother tongue’ not for want of adequate vocabulary but to emphasize the unique role the mother plays in helping the child become integrated into his society physically, mentally and psychologically.
“In Uvwie as well as most communities in Urhoboland today, Pidgin is the lingua franca and, while the elders have Uvwie as their mother tongue, the youth have Pidgin and English as theirs. Useful as Pidgin is for everyday communication purposes, it does not carry a culture with it.
“Since language controls the thought process, the value systems of parents and the youth differ. Therefore, when parents contrast present youth behaviour with their own youth, they consider the change a crumbling of cherished values.
“But they forget that they have contributed to the unacceptable youth behaviour by not sufficiently exposing their children to their language and culture during their formative years”.
Speaking further on Wednesday during a colloquium held at the PTI conference centre, Effurun, as part of activities to mark the 15th Coronation anniversary of the Ovie of Uvwie, Aziza decried the disparity in the number of Uvwie males and females in DELSU.
According to her, in the 2019/2020 academic session, there were 165 female Uvwie students and 79 males in DELSU. In the 2020/2021 session, she disclosed there were 198 females and 103 males, and 237 females and 113 males in the 2021/2022 academic session.
“Much as the data above favours the girls/women, it is a wake up call to parents and other stakeholders that boys/men need to be encouraged to take education more seriously. The SDG policy of ‘Leaving No One Behind’ must apply here.
“The slogan, SCHOOL IS A SCAM often heard from boys should be discouraged. I stand here to refute it in its entirety. It is common knowledge that education reforms and transforms the individual. An educated mechanic or plumber can never be the same as the uneducated one,” Aziza stressed.