[lg policy] Ghana: Government to strictly enforce teaching in local languages

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Wed Jun 17 15:03:30 UTC 2015

Government to strictly enforce teaching in local languages Tuesday 16th
June , 2015 11:02 am
[image: Prof Naana Opoku Agyeman]
Prof Naana Opoku Agyeman

 407  5  1

The Education Ministry will begin the strict enforcement of the use of
local languages as the sole medium of instruction in basic schools in Ghana.

This is to support the $71 million learning project which aims at ensuring
80% of basic school pupils are able to read by 2020.

The Education Minister, Professor Naana Opoku Agyeman indicated that only
pupils from kindergarten one to primary three will be taught mainly with
the local languages.

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She pointed out that the education sector “has traveled so far away from it
[policy] that we need long-term measures to bring it back and make it
effective,” adding that, “it important for the nation to “return to the
application and the practice of the local language policy that exist

On Monday, the Education Ministry in collaboration with the USAID launched
a *$71 million project
called the Ghana Reading Action Plan (G-RAP).

The project will be implemented within a five-year period and it will train
51,000 teachers who will be equipped to teach pupils to read.

In 2014, an early grade reading assessment revealed that *only 2% of
primary pupils could read
a situation which alarmed citizens who called for proactive and effective
measures to improve the education system.

The G-RAP will thus help increase the number from 2% to 80%.

[image: 11639709_10153099964323075_853757899_o]

The Education Minister indicated that the G-RAP is Ghana’s solution to
fixing the reading deficiency because “the mark of quality education is the
ability of the young learner to read.”

She pledged that her Ministry and the relevant stakeholders will “continue
to share in the common vision of enabling our young learners acquire
proficiency in literacy and numeracy especially at the foundation level.
Such allows for a solid basis for continued education to the highest level

*Teaching pupils in English is punishment *

On his part, the Acting Director General of the Ghana Education Service
(GES), Jacob Kor said teaching basic school pupils in English is an unfair
punishment which does not bring out the true picture of the children’s

“We are punishing our children for no offence. That is not the true picture
of our children’s performance,” he said.

He argued that the local language policy dates as far back as the colonial

“Even as far back as the colonial era, they started using local languages
to teach us and the performance was good and research has abundant results
that anybody who starts learning at the early age with the local language
does better in terms of income and life-long learning as he grows.”

He warned that if care is not taken, Ghanaian children will end up being

Mr. Kor argued that teaching both the pupils both in English and the local
languages at the early stages is not recommended.

He was optimistic that the five-year project will tremendously improve the
educational standards in Ghana.

The early grade reading assessment will now begin at primary four and Mr.
Kor is certain that by then, the students would have mastered the local
languages which will make the teaching and learning of the English language


By: Efua Idan Osam/citifmonline.com/Ghana
Follow @ osamidan <https://twitter.com/osamidan>
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