Ghana: Chief asks GES to review language policy

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Nov 14 15:14:06 UTC 2006

Chief asks GES to review language policy

Ghana News Agency , 13/11/2006

Nana Okomafo Dwamena Akenten IV, Chief of Buoyem in the Techiman
Municipality, has appealed to the Ghana Education Service to review its
policy of using Ghanaian languages to teach in public basic schools. He
held that a child learns a second language quicker and better at a tender
age and as such the GES should review the policy to take the child's
language acquisition into consideration. Nana Dwamena Akenten, an
educationist, was addressing his people during the celebration of the
"Nwumafie Kese" Yam festival of the traditional area.

He said the policy was dangerous and could lead to the creation of a class
distinction between public and private school kids. The chief held that
teachers in public schools were better trained and more adequately
resourced to teach the English Language in comparison to their
counterparts in the private schools, but asked the GES to conduct research
into why private schools did better than the public ones. Nana Dwamena
Akenten indicated that the explanation by the GES that basic
schoolchildren understood lessons in local languages better than English
was an indictment on the public school system. He asked the GES to
eliminate misconceptions surrounding public schools.


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