[lg policy] Ghana: Provide a policy frame work for French Language- Kuupole urges government

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 23 16:43:51 UTC 2012

Provide a policy frame work for French Language- Kuupole urges government

Lack of strong political will to formulate a policy framework for the
study of the French language is a major setback that has contributed
to the abysmal performance by students studying the language.
Professor Domwini Dabire Kuupole, the Pro Vice Chancellor of the
University of Cape Coast, on Wednesday said, this had resulted in
inconsistencies in the teaching and learning of the language.

He said this at an inaugural lecture at UCC dubbed “from the Savannah
to the coastal lands in search of knowledge through the French
language: a herd boy’s tale.” Prof Kuupole told the story of how he
rose from being a heard-boy to his present position.
He mentioned other causes to include, inadequate number of teachers
produced, lack of interest and continuation, the fear of failure on
the part of students , less improved curriculum, insufficient funding,
ignorance of the importance of French, and more importantly, a weak
political will in promoting the language.

Prof Kuupole appealed to the government to make conscious efforts to
provide a framework for the implementation of an educational policy
that will seek to solve all the challenges facing the teaching and
learning of French. “People lose interest and drop out due to lack of
motivation, psychological inhibition, and probably because of the way
the language is handled,” he said, adding that, UCC could admit over
100 French students but would be left with only about 20 in the end.

Prof Kuupole said, in 2008, there was a shortage of 4,000 French
teachers at the Junior High School level and also in 2009, out of the
total demand of 2,149 French teachers nationwide, only 829 were
trained. He said teachers were mostly posted to the cities leaving the
rural areas to their fate, citing an instance in 2010 where in the
Northern Region out 174 French teachers posted, only 48 representing
28% were trained with 50% of the total figure deployed in the Tamale

“Some headteachers will never even implement French studies in their
schools because they themselves do not like it” he said, and that
French language was a very important variable in national development
and therefore needed to be learnt. He said the French, which is spoken
in over 25 countries by 80 million people either as a first or second
language, will help one to gain international recognition. Prof
Kuupole suggested that teachers could be included in curriculum review
to improve the quality of learning, and also French, should be made
high priority such that its teachers could be given incentives.

He suggested that the government should take a second look at the
country’s language policy by implementing a three-language policy by
helping every child speak at least two other local languages in
addition to the mother tongue Prof Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, the Vice
Chancellor of UCC, suggested that there be a national language for the
country to help in smooth communication.**


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