By Lindi Agbor
West Governor, Augustine Awa Fonka, has emphasised the prime role local languages can play in the growth of Cameroon.
The Governor has also saluted the importance attached to these local languages as Cameroon strives to consolidate unity, peace and cultural identity.
Governor Awa Fonka was speaking in Pete Bandjoun, Koungh-khi Division, while presiding over the 16th edition of the celebration of the mother tongue.
The Pete Bandjoun ceremonial ground served as the cultural headquarters of the West Region as representatives of secondary and teachers training colleges drawn from all eight Divisions of the Region, turned out to celebrate with the administrative authorities and the general public.
Besides displaying their mastery of their different mother tongues, students also highlighted their rich cultural diversities during the match past of the different delegations. It was also demonstrated in the numerous activities: traditional dances, poems, songs, sketches, all in the mother tongue.
The Governor acknowledged the job done by local national language academies in promoting languages and culture in the Region. He said the Region, today, counts 23 teachers of local languages and national cultures in schools, led by four Pedagogic Inspectors, one of them being an Inspector of Arts.
The Governor equally called on adults to hand down the positive values of their traditions to their children. He announced that, as from next year, the day shall be celebrated at the level of divisions and possibly Subdivisions.
Earlier, the Fon of Bandjoun, HRH Honore Djomo Kamga, emphasised on the importance of teaching local languages in schools, but proposed that biological gardens and museums labeled in local languages be created and that a mother tongue alphabet should exist besides those of classical languages.
The 1st Deputy Mayor of Pete Bandjoun, Niki Love Maptue Fotso, on her part, presented Bandjoun as a Cameroon linguistic in miniature.
“In fact, the 238 mother tongues of Cameroon are being spoken everyday in public and private services and in amphitheatres, for this is what remains to us as identity when we would have finished satisfying international exigencies that disconnect us from our cultural universe,” Maptue said, while appreciating Government’s decision to teach local languages and cultures in schools.
Prize awards were part of the event.