Experts have called on Nigerians to strengthen bilateral ties with France by learning French language.This call was made at the DELF Prim and Junior graduation held at the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja.
The DELF Prim and Junior is a certification issued by the French Ministry of Education. It graduated 545 students from 17 partner schools. They obtained diplomas of recognition and motivation for children and teenagers.
The graduation ceremony was also an opportunity for the French Embassy to present a programme of pilot schools that was deployed last June in five states with the support of their Ministries of Education. The states include Enugu, Plateau, Oyo, Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory.
Speaking at the event, the Ambassador of France to Nigeria, Mrs Emmanuelle Blatmann, noted that it was important to promote French language to a younger demography.
According to her, the knowledge of French will strengthen bilateral ties.
“It is important to promote French language to a younger demography. The knowledge of French will strengthen bilateral ties and relations between Nigeria and France or other francophone African countries.
“French is one of the two official languages of many international organizations such as the United Nations, UNESCO, the European Union, NATO, the International Olympic Committee and the International Red Cross.
“Fluency in French is therefore essential for anyone considering a career in diplomacy and international organizations.”
Adding: “Learning French is also an advantage to studying in France and pursuing studies in renowned universities or elite schools often at very advantageous financial conditions.”
Speaking later, the deputy director, French Management Centre, Ministry of Education, Mrs Mariam Yakubu, commended the French embassy, stressing that the country was in need of French language.
According to her, Nigeria is surrounded by Francophone countries hence the need for French is sacrosanct in strengthening bilateral relations.
“I appreciate the French Embassy for putting together this event because it will serve as a good source of motivation for parents, teachers and students of the French language.
“Nigeria needs to be bilingual in French and English because we’re surrounded by francophone countries, it will help in strengthening bilateral relations. It is the official language of the ECOWAS.
“It is also advantageous for Nigerians who intend to study and work in the international community. The notion that the knowledge of French would extinct our indigenous languages is erroneous.
It is only an added advantage and it sharpens the intellect.”
Also, one of the teachers of the partner schools, Mrs Tiwalola Adesanya, spoke about the impact of the French language on the minds of schoolchildren.
She stated that the knowledge of French helps in propelling the curiosity of schoolchildren to learn new things.
“The knowledge of French helps to build and propel the curiosity of our schoolchildren in learning new and interesting things, this is instrumental to early child education.”