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18.04.2004 Education

Local languages should be integral part of the educational syllabus

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Larteh (E/R), April 18, GNA - The Director of the Akrofi-Christaller Memorial Centre at Akropong-Akuapem, Rev. Prof. Kwame Bediako, has stressed the need for local languages to be an integral part of the educational syllabus from the pre-school to secondary level.

He said research had revealed that children who were able to communicate in their mother's tongue fluently have mastery over the learning of any other language.

Prof. Bediako, who said this at the 19th anniversary and 2nd Speech and Prize-Giving Day of the Larteh Presbyterian Secondary Technical School at Larteh on Saturday, noted that "it isn't the best for children to be taught English at the expense of their own language."

He expressed concern at the increasing tendency in the society where parents were forcing their children to speak a foreign language and discouraging them from their own language adding, "it is sad to note that some people could not express themselves in even one Ghanaian language, yet they call themselves Ghanaians," he said.

Prof. Bediako said the translation of the Bible from English to most Ghanaians languages were done by Europeans who had mastery over their language therefore were able to learn and write the indigenous language, which had become beneficial today as far as the spread of the gospel was concern and wondered why people shied away from the local languages.

He advised parents to speak their indigenous language with their wards from their infancy to build a good start for them in the ability to learn and express in a given language as a "mark of education is being able to express in any language of our backgrounds," he stressed. The government spokesperson on Finance, Nana Ohene Ntow, who chaired the function and an old boy of the school, said plans were far advanced in giving the school a facelift to improve the standard of teaching and learning.

He disclosed that an Akuapem enterprise fund would soon be launched to cater for the upgrading of schools on the Akuapem ridge and to ensure a viable economy for the people to improve upon their economic well-being.

The Headmaster of the school, Mr Emmanuel Mac Asare, said the school, which was established 70 years ago as a middle school by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) until 19 years ago when it became a secondary school had not had any incidence of rioting.

Mr Mac Asare commended the PTA for their tremendous support for the school and mentioned the 28-million-cedi computer laboratory that was commissioned earlier in the day as example.