turning research into action
Many teachers and pupils in the developing world struggle with primary education delivered in a colonial language such as English. In fact, for several decades UNESCO has been highlighting the advantages of mother-tongue education, especially in the early years of primary school.
"If you educate a man, you educate an individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate a nation." — African Proverb
There is ample research (such as the 2010 UNESCO report) to support the benefits of this approach, which include greater parental participation, increased school enrolment and better learning outcomes. Once primary school children are literate in their mother tongue, they have a much stronger foundation for the transition to English-medium learning. Moreover, the nature of the problem in Nigeria is made abundantly clear by Trudell’s 2018 British Council/UNICEF report, Language and Education in Nigeria.
Nigeria boasts over 500 languages. Many people are bilingual or multilingual, using different languages in different contexts. Code switching – mixing languages during the course of one conversation – is a very common phenomenon. It is in the context of such research that we believe Mu Karanta Hausa Big Books make a vital contribution to education in Nigeria.