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03.09.2004 General News

Civil Service to conduct entrance examination

By GNA

Accra, Sept 3, GNA - Dr Alex Glover-Quartey, Head of the Ghana Civil Service, on Thursday announced that graduates who wish to seek employment in the public sector would soon be required to pass an entrance examination to be conducted by the service. He said the examination, among other things, would test the competence and proficiency of applicants in the correct usage of the English Language.

Dr Glover-Quartey was speaking at the Launch of the 202-paged manual on the English Language entitled "Mind Your Language: Educated Ghanaian English", written by Annor Nimako, a publisher and writer in Accra.

The 36-chaptered manual has extensively focused on parts of speech and common errors made by Ghanaians in their usage of the English Language.

The manual, which will help readers communicate effectively with the English Language, illustrates mistakes in written and spoken English by Ghanaian.

Many of the words, phrases, sentences and extracts in the book have been quoted from newspapers, magazines, reports and books or broadcast on radio and television.

Dr Glover-Quartey explained that the need for an examination was due to the general decline in the quality and standard of English language in the country, which was affecting the development of the country.

Dr Glover-Quartey said the Civil Service, which is the largest employer of graduates, had the problem of poor usage of English among employees to contend with.

He said, consequently, all secretaries working in the Service were undergoing a three-week course in English language and Grammar to improve the usage of both spoken and written English.

Dr Glover-Quartey said the foundation for the development of advanced countries was laid by few highly educated individuals.

He said, however, in Africa, and Ghana in particular, the well-educated people have largely been unable to exert much influence on the society and this had been so in the case of the general decline in the quality of the English in the country as it was no longer needful to endeavour to speak English correctly.

Dr. Glover-Quartey said: "The trend must be reversed and fast. Those who have had the benefit of education are under a moral obligation not only to provide services in their respective professions, but also to provide the leadership that will take this country out of doldrums- in every respect."

He called for the re-introduction of the teaching of grammar by English teachers in the schools.

Dr Glover-Quartey recommended the book to all politicians, professionals, civil/public servants, journalist, particularly reporters, newsreaders, radio and Television presenters, and trade unionist to correct the deviant usage of idioms and expressions in the English language.

Mrs Adjoa Yeboah Afari, President of the Ghana Journalist Association suggested that stakeholders in the educational sector must undertake a crusade on the usage of English Language to reverse its decline among Ghanaians.

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