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HomeEntertainmentEducationists call on NACCA to maintain Ghanaian languages as examinable at BECE...

Educationists call on NACCA to maintain Ghanaian languages as examinable at BECE level

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Some educationists have expressed disappointment at a policy that will make the study and writing of Ghanaian languages at the basic schools’ level optional.

The experts have urged the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NACCA) to reconsider the policy which they contend, could potentially reduce interest in studying the local languages.

The study and writing of Ghanaian languages have always been compulsory at the basic to the junior high school level.

The history and culture of the various tribes are exposed to the pupils and students, making them gain deeper understanding of their roots, foster strong sense of identity, pride in their cultural heritage and encapsulate the values of Ghanaian communities.

The students are examined in the languages at the Basic Education Certificate Examination, BECE. But starting this year, 2024 the study of Ghanaian languages in schools will be optional, similar to French and Arabic.

Public Relations Officer of the West African Examination Council, John Kapi confirmed the policy, saying the Council received a letter from NACCA.

‘’This is information we received from NACCA, that is the curriculum division of the Ministry of Education…they are the ones who worked on it and this is what they have brought and are asking us to examine the candidates on’’.

He said WAEC as an examining body does not interfere with policy and so could not question it. “If they make a decision that they want to introduce a particular programme and in introducing that programme and says this is what we want to achieve at the end of the day, we are at the tail end of the process where after all the teaching have been done we craft the kind of examination to indicate whether indeed the children have been proficient with what they were taught or not. This begins this year 2024.”

The directive has not been well received by educationists.

Professor Adams Bodomo of the University of Viena, Austria and a visiting scholar at the University of Ghana says he is disappointed.

“Whatever the thinking, my view, our views as educationists, don’t think it’s a good idea. We request that they should re-think this policy. Making these languages optional as subjects is a disaster for the way we want to think about our languages….In fact, that is the only level at which these children are able to get back and study our indigenous level systems, these languages are the basis that we learn our own culture,” he said.

Executive Director of Institute for Education Studies, Dr. Peter Partey-Anti also said the move to implement this policy is unfortunate.

“If there are any directives to sideline or downplay the importance of language in a child’s life then it becomes a little bit unfortunate. I think that we need to have a second look at such a decision and see how best we will be able to ensure that the language of the people becomes an integral part of their educational journey,”he suggested.

Professor of linguistics at the University of Ghana, Professor Clement Appah argued that the policy should not be implemented.

“We are lowering our languages to the level of French and Arabic, not that these are not good languages, but they are not indigenous languages. The Ghanaian languages, they carry who we are. If you downgraded that at the J.H.S. level and people decided not to write, what you have done is to kill it at the S.H.S. level…which means that it also affects the people who come to the university with grades in Ghanaian languages. so that is a very terrible decision in my opinion’’.

He urged members of the Education Committee of Parliament not to allow it. ”The Education Sub Committee of Parliament should look into it and definitely not allow it, because our young people need to be exposed to it. In fact, for some people that is the only way they will encounter the Ghanaian languages, because even at home they don’t speak it. We can’t do that to our young people,” he contended.’

Peter Notsu Kotoe who is the ranking member of the Education Committee of Parliament says they are beginning to kill the study of Ghanaian languages and “our children may not be interested in studying the language any longer, because if you go to some homes English is the language they speak to their children, and it is very bad. let the child be proud of the mother tongue first and then the English language or French will follow, but they are turning things upside down now, so far as our educational system is concerned.

We (Education Committee) need to meet the Director General of NACCA for him to explain to us, probably they may have a different view from what we are saying, but I’m of the strong view that the Ghanaian language should be made compulsory. If you make the English language compulsory what stops you from making the Ghanaian language compulsory and examinable,” he quized.

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