Founder of Speak Your Mind Foundation, Kwabena Yeboah has said speaking correct grammar does not necessarily put food on the table.
He stated that the fact that someone speaks good English doesn’t make the person intelligent, brilliant and wiser than those who can not speak.
“Normally, we always talk about child’s rights without knowing that refusing or depriving your child to speak and understand his or her own local language is also against child rights.” He stated
Making reference to Ghana Education Service (GES) laws that pupils in class one to three must be taught in their local languages but according to Kwabena Yeboah most teachers flouts the law.
He, therefore, appealed to parents to as much as possible speak their local languages with their children, for them to understand it.
“By research, most children understand whatever they are taught in their local languages properly.
I will plead with parents who don’t speak the local language with their children to begin to do so, for their teachers in the school will take care of the English language.” He added
According to him, “a country like China, all the Chinese speak their local language, and it has contributed to the growth of their economy and development of their country.”
He said, “nowadays most media firms who are known to be English speaking media houses are trying to mixed the local language in their presentation, which they need to be applauded.”
More than 46 languages are spoken in Ghana. As with many other countries on the continent it is struggling to find an effective policy for language in education.
At present Ghanaian children are taught for the first five years of school in their own language while they are gradually exposed to the the English language, before shifting to English as medium of instruction in the upper primary and beyond.
Using a bilingual (Ghanaian language and English) methodology, the country is implementing a policy to promote teaching pupils in kindergarten through primary grade three to read and write in their local language – one of 11 selected Ghanaian languages – while introducing them to spoken English, and by grade two, to written English.
The approach is designed to be a transitional one in which local language literacy is used as a bridge to English literacy. The programme also serves to encourage and celebrate the use of local languages as a valuable aspect of Ghanaian culture.
However, many parents and education officials continue to agitate for English to be used as the medium of instruction from the start.