Folalumi Alaran in Abuja
The Government of France has invested €600,000 to promote French Nigeria’s second official language.
The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Emmanuelle Blatmann, unveiled the plan during the launch of the Solidarity Fund for Innovative Projects (FSPI).
The initiative aims to strengthen the pedagogical skills of French teachers in Nigeria, as French is designated as the country’s second official language.
Blatmann highlighted the immense benefits of mastering French for young Nigerians, including academic and professional opportunities.
However, she acknowledged the challenges faced by secondary school students in writing and speaking the language, caused by limited resources, technology, and teacher capacity in overcrowded classrooms.
To address these challenges, the Embassy of France in Nigeria initiated the “French in Nigeria, Language of Communication and Capacity Building” project.
The envoy observed that the project’s objective is to position French as a practical language of communication in secondary schools and public spaces. She added that it will support teacher training programs, provide books and computer equipment, and establish a network of media platforms using French.
She said the project will target 50 schools in Enugu, Plateau, Oyo, Lagos, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), based on their expressed interest in educational cooperation.
Additionally, partnerships will be formed with five existing radio stations broadcasting in French across Nigeria. Educational programs for both children and adults will be developed to promote language practice.
Approximately 5,000 junior secondary school students aged 11 to 15 and 108 teachers from 50 schools will be direct beneficiaries of this initiative.
Furthermore, 12 journalists/presenters from notable radio stations, including Radio Maria Abuja and Armed Forces Radio Abuja, will actively contribute. The project will also involve 49 new teachers from the Franco-Nigerian Village of Badagry.
Over the next two years, the French government plans to organize regular communication sessions with the Ministries of Education and school officials in the five states.
These sessions will not only showcase the project’s impact but also establish a long-term strategy for enhancing French language proficiency throughout Nigeria.
With the resolute support of the French Government, the “French in Nigeria, Language of Communication and Capacity Building” project holds the promise of transforming Nigeria’s linguistic landscape, opening doors to a brighter future for Nigerian youth.