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25.07.2005 Regional News

Language development is key to development of people


Kanvilli (N/R), July 25, GNA - Mr Justin Frempong, the acting Northern Regional Director of Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation (GILLBT), has said language development is the best tool for the intellectual and spiritual development of people. ''The development of some Ghanaians languages such as Twi, Ewe, Ga, Dagaaba and Kasem has impacted positively on the socio-economic and cultural growth of Ghanaians.''

"These languages are used in providing the spiritual songs that almost all Ghanaians enjoy to hear and sing," he said.

Mr Frempong said this at the 43rd Annual General Meeting of GILLBT at its training centre at Kanvilli near Tamale on Saturday. He said lack of language development could bring about loss of self-respect or identity of people, making them to disregard and neglect their indigenous wisdom and knowledge.

Mr Frempong said GILLBT is understudying unwritten Ghanaian languages to develop adequate alphabets, grammars and dictionaries as well as basic literature and literacy materials to encourage people to learn to read and write their own languages as a first step to basic education. Mr Frempong said some men and women had become literates first in their own languages and then in English.

"Some have even entered the formal education system and had gained admission into training colleges, vocational and technical schools, as well as the universities.''

"One outstanding young man from Bawku area, who began his education through the Kusaal literacy programme, has now completed his masters degree in hospital administration at Legon," he said. Mr Frempong appealed to the government to assist GILLBT to contribute to national development through effective rural adult literacy programmes.

"The work GILLBT does contribute to fight poverty. The books we write in the mother tongue on good drinking water, tree planting and on HIV/AIDS enable the people to apply the knowledge to improve their life style," he said.