Ghana: Govt urged to review national language policy

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Mar 19 13:43:54 UTC 2007

Govt urged to review national language policy

Ghana News Agency , 19/03/2007

Government and all stakeholders in the education sector have been urged to
have a second look at the national language policy which makes it
compulsory for teachers to use English language as a medium of instruction
at the basic education level. Aba Brew-Hammond, a lecturer at the
Publishing Studies Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science
and Technology, who made the call, explained that children could learn
better with the local language which their parents transmit to them right
after birth, saying children grasp other cultural and moral values from
their local language.

The seminar was organised by the College of Arts and Social Sciences of
KNUST dubbed 'Intra-College Seminar' for the students of the university.
She said this at a seminar on the theme: Projecting Monolinqual Ideologies
in Multilinqual Classrooms in Ghana: A Critical Look at the English only
language in Education Policy". She stated that, it was not fair to use
only English language to teach since it created problems for children in
understanding whatever they were taught, adding that teaching children
with bi-lingual methods however could pave way for easy understanding
before being introduced to English language as a medium of instruction.

Daniel Buor, Provost of College of Art and Social Sciences, who chaired
the seminar commended the lecturer for her research into the languages in
the country and said any attempt at using only one local language as our
lingua franca could generate into chaos. He said the local languages
should be used at school during the childs formative period before
introducing them to English language. Rev Dr Nathan Samwini, a lecturer at
the Department of Religious Studies at the KNUST, on his part said there
was the need for a national formula for development, and that measures
should be put in place to make sure that any government who would come and
meet it could continue its implementation.

He stated that the development of the nation depended on continuity of
planning and effective implementation of good policies instead of changing
policies by every government who come to power.


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