Apart from language, few things bring humans together in the world!
Why is that? Communication (for example, speaking and imitating gestures) in any of the world languages is one of the first things infants learn while growing up.
In fact, it is the joy of every parents to hear their child speak for the first time.
Although, English is the lingua Franca of Nigeria, it must be noted that, there are over 300 different ethnic groups each with it own distinct dialects and sub-dialects.
Over the years, there have been warning from cultural crusaders and languages experts on the gradual decline of indigenous languages in day to day interaction of the Nigerian people. Some have predicted, that these local languages might soon disappear from lack of use.
Apart from that, one often wonders why students are not being taught in their local dialects which can help in assimilation of ideas and information.
There have been several strategies in the past to integrate the use of local languages in Nigeria education system, none has lived up to its expectations.
This is one of the reasons we are introducing project the called “SENARABA”
It will work towards reversing the potential loss of our indigenous language, useful norms and healthy solutions.
But first, what is Senaraba?
SE-NA-RABA is coined out of 3 indigenous Nigerian languages and it directly means, “Create And Share.”
The Senaraba project is to embracing learning and diversity through language.
Its goal is easy and straightforward, its aimed to achieve equal education and learning for everyone; especially those in the rural areas through the use of their local dialects.
Senaraba can be seen as the ultimate objective that SDGs goal 4 aim to achieve, quality education for everyone.
It is to empower people to put on their thinking cap, think inward and in-depth, not just focus on getting Western education for the social status.
So far a person can think and solve problems in any language, then they are educated! Being educated shouldn’t be limited only to the ability to speak a global language.
With my level of understanding and careful analysis of indigenous languages in Nigeria, I believe that the project “Senaraba” is a strategic action, advocating that knowledge, experience and qualifications shouldn’t be measured based on Western education or mastery of English.
Hence the dream of Senaraba is a world where brilliant and talented people can showcase their skills, real-time solutions and their expertise is embraced without prejudices.
Thus, its agenda is for indigenous people to be taught, to create and to share in their native tongue.
To achieve this lofty goal, Senaraba is providing a space for content creator, people with unique ideas and inventors to explain their works to people in the rural areas, who otherwise would not have been able to understand it.
While the people at the grassroots are also invited to share their solutions to people in all over the world who otherwise would not have been aware that great innovations and stories of development exist in unlikely places. Henceforth, when you think or heard about “SENARABA” think about “creating and sharing”, think about the future of learning and solving problems.
Prikkle Academy…inspiring community builders.
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The work we do to help the gifts of young people blossom from rural communities requires different resources. We need financial, technical, social, economic and environment support.
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Written by Ibiwumi Otunola (Prikkle Academy Documentarian).