As part of its social responsibilities in promoting education and it’s bid to prevent the local language from going into extinction, the Bashorun Askia Foundation (BAF), has donated Isoko Language text books to all secondary schools in Isoko North and South Local Government Areas of Delta state.
The Basic Education Examination Books mainly for the junior secondary students are, Isoko proverbs, calendar, and Isoko audio teaching CDs.
Handing over the books to teachers at the National Secretariat of the Isoko Development Union (I.D.U), Chairman of the Foundation, Odio Bashorun Askia Ogieh, FCNA, CrFA, pleaded with the teachers to take the job of saving the Isoko language from extinction very seriously, saying that it is disheartening to see children given birth to in Isoko unable to speak the language.
The books would serve as a guide for secondary school teachers in Isoko who will be teaching the language in their various junior secondary schools, and are expected to promote the language among the Isoko people, and make it an official language in every Isoko home.
Represented by Hon Blessing Uzoge, the Vice Chairperson of Isoko South local government area, Bashorun Askia Ogieh (Udu 1 of Isoko Nation), said “Isoko language is what binds the people together and it should be protected.
Speaking to newsmen in an interview, the Dean of Languages, College of Education, Warri, Dr. Elizabeth Agbada, who is also a writer of the one of the books donated by the foundation, said all the books and other instructional materials distributed among Secondary schools in Isoko were solely sponsored by the Bashorun Askia Foundation, BAF, to promote and sustain the growth of the Isoko language.
According to Dr. Elizabeth, “The foundation had earlier given scholarship to several number of Isoko language students at the college of education, Warri, in order to have a hitch free process through their education.
She also said the foundation has proposed to subsequently pay monthly stipends to forty Isoko language teachers that would be engaged in the nearest future.
Speaking to newsmen, Mary Okpugo and Michael Akporehe, who respectively received the donations on behalf of Iyede Secondary Commercial School, Iyede, and Emevor Mixed Grammar school, Emevor, commended the foundation for the gesture, and they pledged their total commitment to teaching and promoting the Isoko language in their various schools.
They said, “Before now, our problems were lack of teaching materials and personnel to handle the Isoko language subject, but now that the Bashorun Askia Foundation has provided us with these things we were lacking, I think we will put in our best”.