[lg policy] Ghana: pushing the current language policy mandating English

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue Oct 20 14:36:34 UTC 2015

Ghana’s Minister for Education, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang,
recently stated
her intentions to push through the current language policy, which mandates
English language instruction, at the highest level so that school children
can be taught in their mother tongue. “[Once] we can remove [English as the
medium of instruction], we will change this country,” she said at a recent
Shared Prosperity Forum conducted in an effort to combat poverty around the
world. Over 46 languages and dialects are spoken in Ghana, but English is
the country’s official language and the universal language of educational

The Minister used the Korean education system as an example; “Because the
Koreans were taught in a language they understood, education picked up;
because we are teaching our children a language they can’t even follow, we
are drawing them back. The real change for me is not about reviewing the
curriculum, it is not about extension of construction it is about
[cultural] relevancy.” She noted that Ghanaian children are bright, but
most of them are trapped in the basic school without being able to advance
because they were, “taught wrongly in a medium they couldn’t relate to.” In
her closing remarks, Minister Agyemang stressed, “In order for Africa to
end poverty it must focus on quality, relevant education delivered in the
right medium.”


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