[lg policy] Ghana: Government urged to adopt clear language policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu Jul 21 11:20:57 EDT 2016

 Government urged to adopt clear language policy
*News Date:* 20th July 2016

Stakeholders from various sectors have called for the need for government
to adopt a clear language policy to specify the roles of “our Ghanaian
languages and other languages in our national life".

They said the need for a national language policy "is a necessity and not a
choice" adding that "this policy must have a legal backing to ensure its
enforcement". This was contained in a communique issued after a two-day
language policy conference organised in Tamale by the Ghana Institute of
Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation (GILLBT).

It was attended by stakeholders from public and private institutions,
researchers, academia, civil society organizations (CSOs) and the media.
The conference provided the opportunity to remind policy makers, parents
and all stakeholders on the importance of the use of the mother tongue as a
medium of instruction for improvement in literacy and education outcomes.

The conference was on the theme: "The Mother Tongue in National
Development". The communique recommended that public universities assist in
the training of teachers or language professionals in the Ghanaian
languages as well as in the production of training materials such as
textbooks, dictionaries, literature books and other literacy materials to
enhance the use of the local languages.

It also recommended that the Ministry of Education, University of
Education, GILLBT and other stakeholders should assist in the development
of orthography for Ghanaian languages to enhance the use of local languages
as a medium of instruction in all public schools, at least at the lower
primary level.

It also recommended that public universities should have terminology
centres for language modernization and terminology development just as was
done in Tanzania and South Africa. The communique called on national and
local governments to show more commitment by making resources available for
the development of the local languages.

It called on GILLBT to assist in the translation of national documents such
as the constitution, campaign messages of political parties among others in
the local languages. It concluded by calling on Ministries of Education,
and Finance, GILLBT, CSOs, Non-Formal Education Division, chiefs, parents
amongst other stakeholders to support the use of the mother tongue as a
medium of instruction at lower primary levels in all public schools across
the country.

By Albert Futukpor, GNA

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