The French Ambassador to Nigeria Emmannuelle Blatmann (middle) and partners at the inauguration of FSPI in Abuja. Photo: Oluwaseyi Ajibade/Radio Nigeria
The French Government has inaugurated a €600,000 scholarship program tagged ”Solidarity Fund For Innovative Projects (FSPI)” to aid the teaching and learning of French language in government schools in Nigeria.
The direct beneficiaries include 5,000 Junior Secondary School students between the ages of 11 and 15 and 108 teachers from 50 establishments in Enugu, Lagos, Oyo and Plateau States as well as the FCT.
Also, 12 Journalists including presenters from five Radio Stations and 49 teachers of the Franco-Nigerian Village in Badagry Lagos will also benefit from the gesture.
Inaugurating the Project in Abuja on Monday, the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Emmannuelle Blatmann said the project was in line with Nigeria’s Education Policy which puts French Language as the second official language in the country and compulsory in schools.
Mrs Blatmann maintained that French Language, a mechanism of many opportunities would be of immense benefits to Nigerians and the country at large as it will further hasten and smoothen communications between the two countries and boost border security with Nigeria’s neighboring countries most of whom are French speaking countries.
According to the French Ambassador to Nigeria, French is spoken in all the continents of the world, hence the need to ensure qualitative teaching and learning of the language in Nigerian schools.
”Thanks to these partnerships 50 schools will benefit directly from the pilot initiative involving teacher training in France and in Nigeria along with the purchase of books with computer equipment and other modern equipment.
And what is more innovative also is the link and partnership we aim to establish with five radio stations that already broadcast contents in French that will collaborate with the pilot schools. I think collaborating with radio stations will be the real game changer,” she said.
Mrs Blatmann expressed optimism that with the inauguration of the program, more learning platforms will be created to aid the teaching, learning and practice of French in Nigeria.
Writing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade and Juliet Onwurah