– The Pillars Igbo Schools have opened in the United States and South Africa for the learning of Igbo language
– Chima Umealo said the institution has helped many Igbo children born outside Nigeria
– Umealo confirmed that the recent Igbo Diaspora Cultural Heritage Festival which held in the US was successful
While the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) continues to push for secession of the Biafran Republic in Nigeria, Igbo schools have emerged in the United States and South Africa.
plusmilang.com learnt that the schools are currently thriving as Chima Umealo, the coordinator of Pillar Igbo Schools, said the institutions were created to promote Igbo language and cultural values in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Umealo, who is the president of Abia Union, South Africa, in Johannesburg, said that children in the schools were responding well to the study of Igbo language and culture.
He also noted that the Igbo Diaspora Cultural Heritage Festival which held in Maryland, US, was aimed at promoting the language and culture of Igbo people.
“The schools were set up to ensure that the language and culture of the Igbo do not become extinct.
“The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) had predicted that Igbo language was among those that will become extinct in the next 50 years.
“One way of preventing this was to set up the schools for our children in the Diaspora and to continue to promote the language and culture,” he said.
He said during the festival, guests were impressed by the performance of children, many of whom have not been to Nigeria. “They also cooked native food and entertained the audience with assorted delicacies.
“The response of the Igbo community in South Africa to the setting up of the schools has been positive.
“We are optimistic that we would get support to actualize the vision of the schools. The necessary foundation and structures have already been laid,” Umealo said.