The Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa'I, said on Thursday in
Abuja that French would be part of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation
Examination (UTME) as from 2014 for interested candidates.
Rufa'I said this at farewell reception held in honour of the French
Language Project Manager, Mr Jean-Phillipe Roy.
She said that being multi-lingual in the 21st Century was essential as
ithelps individuals to operate more effectively in the international
"For Nigeria, the study of French language is quite key, considering
the fact that our neighbouring countries are French-speaking.
"Apart from the English Language, French Language is one of the major
international languages, ''she said.
She said Roy came to Nigeria in 2009 under the 2nd Bilateral Agreement
between Nigeria and French.
The minister noted that he had worked hard to ensure that various
components of the project received due attention.
Rufa'I lauded his contributions to the reform of the UTME for 2014 in
addition to the scholarships awarded to 16 teachers of French Language
to study in France for one month.
She said the project manager's contributions, included supply of books
toschools, award of Masters Degree in French as a Foreign Language and
supply of DVD and CD player to the project office, among others.
The minister lauded the support of the French Government to the
Nigerian French Language Village, Badagry, Lagos, the Regional Network
of French Language centres in Africa.
She also commended the Association of French Language Teachers, and
noted s the proposed handing over of the project vehicle to the
ministry for the monitoring of the teaching and learning of the
"Nigeria and France have come a long way in their relationship. It is
a relationship built on mutual respect, cooperation and interest.
"I wish to assure you that the ministry will continue to be committed
to the teaching and learning of French Language in Nigeria and
sustenanceof the cordial relationship,'' she said.
She called on the French Government to introduce similar programmes to
complement, sustain and consolidate the achievements made so far.
Responding, Roy lauded the collaboration between the Federal
Government and the French Government.
"Since I have been here, you have shown a lot of interest in what we
have been trying to do in terms of decision-making in critical issues
and, with your help, we have been able to keep the project on the
He said that French Government had so far organised 160 training
sessions in various parts of the country, adding that 4,290 people
participated in the programme.
Roy called for continued collaboration between the Nigerian Government
and the French Government.
In his remarks, the Counsellor of French Cultural Affairs, Mr Patrick
Perez, stressed the need to sustain good relationship between the two
"We will like to thank you for all your efforts to promote French
Languagein Nigeria and we hope that this collaboration will continue
to grow from strength to strength, ''he said. (NAN)