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Opinions Thu, 28 Aug 2014

The education ministry's new primary school teaching method ...

.... is long overdue-discussion and decision (D&D)

The Education Minister's proposal for the use of familiar local language to be used as language of instruction and language for teaching in our lower primary schools is long overdue and we commend the Ministry and the Minister for coming out with this excellent proposal. The Ministry must as matter of urgency, revise the existing syllabus to suit this laudable changes.

Two of the major purposes of the Primary School are to make children literate and to imbue in them with a sense of what is real and useful, so that they become more competent to deal with practical problems. Ability to read, write and compute is essential. Without it a child would be seriously handicapped, and his self-esteem would become precarious. Imagine how humiliated a backward reader feels if he has to ask a friend the meaning of a caption beneath a picture or a public notice. The nature of our society has great impact on the child's education. Based on these points enumerated, D&D is of the opinion that, we must revisit the policy suggested by the Education Ministry. Practical and empirical evidence support the idea that, using our local languages as language of instruction at the lower primary stage, help to boost the child's understanding of thing he or she learn at that early age, it creates a comfort zone for their learning and sharpens their contribution to classroom work. Language has its immeasurable impact on a our personality development. The way we measure words we use during communication is very different from how the Westerners do. We attach serious attention and care to words we use during communication, this help instilling those unique traits in the African something we can't challenge. A person who pass through this system of education, usually end up possessing refined character traits compared to those who go through the other system.

Governor Guggisburg though a Whiteman, was the first to recommend the use of our local languages at the primary level, he actually recommended its use up to the class six level, and subsequent governments supported the idea with other positive recommendations. If you read the 1961 Education Act, you would see recommendations made by the then Advisory committee to top up this method of teaching, the Busia government's Ghana Education Bill (memorandum) suggested more scientific methods to augment the existing policy.

The Anamoah committee made similar recommendation to the Kufuor administration but was rubbished. In a recently held meeting by heads of Education Ministries on the continent, it was suggested that, the African child must be receive education which would help him appreciate things he finds around him or, understand the dynamics of the society is was going to be part. Practical evidence support the assertion that, children who go through such education systems end up we trained and refined adult who respond positively to changes in the society he lives. Professor Kwapong of blessed memory, Professor Addae, Dr Y.K Amoako, Professor Allotey, Professor Anful, Late Dr Oku Ampofo and many others including past political leaders like Osagyefo Dr Nkrumah and Busia are products of this education system. Their inward unique personality were unearthed to support their academic distinction. This is what the continent need not intellectuals without domestic intelligence and common human ethics.

D&D however is suggesting to government to immediately take a serious look at our school of languages, that wonderful idea leading to the Ajumako School of languages and the Winneba School must be revisited. It will be unwise and unnecessary if we concentrate on the local language development at the primary and secondary stages without creating an outlet to absorb students who may like to pursue courses in our local languages.

We think this government is gradually reviving some of the old prudent ideas we allowed to die. We urge the government to pursue this policy with the needed resources and attention it deserves without looking back to be confused by ideological misinterpretations.

Sign:

Ohenenana Obonti Ktow (C.E.O)

Steven Kwabena Attuh ASK! (Director of Research)

Phreddy Plies (Deputy Director for Research)

Columnist: Krow, Ohenenana Obonti