A letter signed by Beatrice Ama Ntanu, Director of Valley View University Basic Schools and dated Feb 3 2021, notified parents that the teaching of Ga language will be phased out for lower primarily due to lack of teachers; it immediately went viral.
An insider staff familiar with the matter confirmed the letter to writersghana.com, and explained that the students who had elected to read Ga had been performing poorly at the BECE.
This Valley View University’s Basic School Ga language policy is unacceptable for many reasons.
From the beginning, the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) was worried about granting approval for private universities because of fears concerning quality.
Is this really the quality of thinking and action that we expect from a center of higher learning, really?
We expect educated and enlightened people to display emotional intelligence, cultural competence and cultural sensitivity; we expect them to be problem solvers and not mere bearers of pompous titles.
Therefore, when Valley View says that they are not able to get subject teachers for Ga language - and this is not peculiar to Valley View - it is not because of the salaries Ga teachers require, it is on account of the failure to train enough Ga subject teachers.
And instead of stepping up to the challenge as any university ought to, we are offered wooly thinking.
To suggest to the Oyibi Mantse, indigenous custodian of the beautiful forested hills which host this private university (as was done in a viral video from Homebase TV) that “disunity among the Ga is to blame for the politicians lack of interest in promoting your language” is preposterous.
What is the factual basis for such a statement which borders on a gratuitous insult?
Is Ga not for all of us, a part of our national heritage?
Is there any Christian, or enlightened person, anywhere in the world who wishes that the Bible will no longer be published in Ga?
Thankfully, Nii Bortey Kofi Frankwa II, the Oyibi Gonten Mantse, showed the requisite erudite skills that should come with royal household education when he promptly reminded his host that “unity is important but one person could kill an elephant to feed the whole nation”, inferring that when one is right about a decision, one does not need anyone’s endorsement to act upon it.
To wit, civilised and progressive communities are not governed based on the tyranny of the majority which in ghana has led to a dictatorship of mediocrity.
Need we remind anyone that Ga is a Ghanaian language just as English is?
To Valley View, if they do not offer the subject at lower primary, why will any guardian be inspired to choose it for their wards from upper primary onwards, if a Grade One is the goal?
And for the school itself, is it not better to teach the subject at lower primary level in order to sustain interest?
By the way, who granted Valley View University the license to operate a campus-community radio on 97.7MHz and why; and the question is far from being irrelevant.
The Ga are currently a minority within their own ancestral heartland, but that does not give anyone the permission to behave in an ignorant and reckless manner where Ga language, culture and traditions are concerned.
The banal attitude among university leaders, across board - yes, across board, is just mind boggling; it appears that they lack the ability to engage with sophistication and nuance on any issue of importance.
Hence these days, our peer review team “has lost academic interest” in reviewing any article for public discourse, because we have enough material freely available online, including several articles about the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL 2019).
As for my mentor, he keeps asking, “So is it the food or water or what; what is it that leads to these unwholesome thoughts and actions by those in positions of responsibility in ghana. What is it?”.
No answer is forthcoming.
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