Ghana’s Minister for Education, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, recently stated her intentions to push through the current language policy, which mandates English language instruction, at the highest level so that school children can be taught in their mother tongue. “[Once] we can remove [English as the medium of instruction], we will change this country,” she said at a recent Shared Prosperity Forum conducted in an effort to combat poverty around the world. Over 46 languages and dialects are spoken in Ghana, but English is the country’s official language and the universal language of educational instruction.
The Minister used the Korean education system as an example; “Because the Koreans were taught in a language they understood, education picked up; because we are teaching our children a language they can’t even follow, we are drawing them back. The real change for me is not about reviewing the curriculum, it is not about extension of construction it is about [cultural] relevancy.” She noted that Ghanaian children are bright, but most of them are trapped in the basic school without being able to advance because they were, “taught wrongly in a medium they couldn’t relate to.” In her closing remarks, Minister Agyemang stressed, “In order for Africa to end poverty it must focus on quality, relevant education delivered in the right medium.”
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