Aisha Abdullahi Ibrahim


The emergence of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme in Nigeria was in September 1999. The Programme was amended in 2008 by the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC). This yielded a great landmark for introducing and developing the 9-Year Basic Education Curriculum (BEC) which was aimed enabling every Nigerian citizen access to equivalent education comprehensively and coeducationally. Similarly, Nigeria's national language policy which focused on the official structure of the English language as an official medium of instruction from primary four to subsequent levels of education, while the mother tongue or the language of the immediate community to be the medium of instruction at pre-primary and early primary levels has left a wide gap which may serve as one of the factors or reasons that may affect the communicative competence of pupils or learners in handling English as a subject or medium of instruction. Especially, considering the designed objectives of inculcating in the school childrens’ permanent literacy, numeracy and the ability to communicate effectively which lays the concrete educational foundation of pupils in terms of language development. The common criticisms or observations that this paper may raise on the issue of language policy and that of UBE is lack of a well-articulated transition from the mother tongue to English, or lack of proper implementation of the policy, as language cannot be properly taught using another language. Therefore, the paper draws the attention of policymakers and curriculum designers in revising and restructuring the language policy in order to ascertain the objectives designed by UBE and the educational policy in general.


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policy, first language, mother tongue, medium of instruction, challenges

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