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08.08.2004 Regional News

GES DG urges schools not to abandon local language

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Tema, Aug 08, GNA - The Reverend Ama Afo Blay, Director General (DG) of Ghana Education Service (GES), on Saturday said that in the bid to encourage school children to learn good English, schools especially the private ones should not abandon the teaching of local languages.

Speaking at the 41st speech and prize-giving day of the Tema Parents' Association School (TEPAS) at Tema, she said even though English was the accepted medium of instruction, vernacular should not be abandoned so that children did not forget the nation's cultural heritage.

She asked the private schools to operate within the context of education and entreated them to employ language specialists to offer tuition in vernacular.

The DG said in their eagerness to impart knowledge and hasten education of children, private schools should move away from rote learning and rather allow the children to develop their learning pattern.

She advised against cowing children and asked school authorities to allow them to exercise their freedom at the appropriate time by which way they would be developing their talents.

Rev Afo Blay said while adopting quality education and expanding classrooms, private schools should guide against overcrowding of children in a class since that would not be good for their health. She advised parents to monitor their children's activities in the schools, which could make a difference in attitude towards learning, teachers must lead exemplary lives for the children to emulate.

The DG advised parents, not to allow children go to school with problems for teachers to solve but rather ensure that they left home with sound intentions.

Mr Samuel Sarpong, member of the school's board of governors, said plans were advance to construct an international secondary school and appealed to the management of the Tema Development Corporation to release land for the project.

He said the board plans to establish two language laboratories for English and French.

Mrs Leona Ngakie-Kassim, headmistress stated that the school, which started in 1963 with five people now had 1,728 students, 69 teaching staff and 16 non-teaching staff.

She commended the teachers for their commitment and dedication to work that had enabled students pass excellently to gain admission to their first choice of schools.

Two hundred pupils and students who excelled in various subjects received prizes.

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