The authorities of China have produced its first Yoruba textbook titled ‘Ede Yoruba’ — as the Asian country begins studies in the Nigerian language.
Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo are the three largest ethnic groups in Nigeria.
In a statement on Thursday, Goke Alamu, a professor from the Ekiti State University (EKSU), said he was invited to China to teach the language in 2020.
Alamu said he could not travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic but started online classes alongside three US professors for students of the Beijing Foreign Studies University in China.
The professor said the first Yoruba textbook for students in the Asian country was published after approval from the government.
“Just produced in China. I am just very happy because this is the first Yoruba textbook in China,” he said.
“I was contacted by the Beijing Foreign Studies University around 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis to come to China and set up a Yoruba programme for them.
“I could have been in China since then but for the lockdown. So, I started online teaching for their students after writing the syllabus and the approval.
“Later, the university got approval from the government and a publishing company was approved for the publication of the first Yoruba textbook for students.
“I worked with three professors who had the opportunity to study the language in the US. This is the product of our efforts after three years. I will be going to China in September to test-run the book.
“I have two students already at the University of Ibadan who would be trained and take over from me. I have taught them for 2 years online, but they are now here to feel the culture of us and improve their proficiency.”