English language has to be maintained as medium of instruction in schools – Napo

General News of Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com


Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh VettingEducation Minister-designate, Mathew Opoku Prempeh

The Education Minister-designate has advocated for English language to be maintained as the medium of instruction in schools in the country.

Matthew Opoku-Prempeh explained that because students are not trained for only Ghana, they need to be taught the English language which makes them “globally competitive.”

Taking his turn before Parliament’s Appointments Committee Tuesday, the Manhyia South Member of Parliament (MP) said attempts to introduce the Ghanaian language as medium of teaching should be reconsidered.

For the last two years, Ghanaians have fiercely debated a decision by then National Democratic Congress (NDC) government to change English as the medium of instruction in schools.

Former Education Minister, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang who made the announcement said educated Ghanaians have been unable to put their acquired knowledge to good use because of the medium of language.

At a forum held at the University of Ghana on October 16, 2015 the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast expressed confidence that once English is replaced with local languages, there would be change in the country.

The issue of language change in the schools has been raging, but the political will to get that done has been lacking.

Tanzania in February reintroduced a new education system which saw a radical change from English as a language of instruction to Kiswahili, the mother tongue of the people.

Taking cue from countries like Korea and China who are using their local languages as medium of instruction, Professor Opoku-Agyeman promised to get the changes effected.

But her successor, Mr Opoku-Prempeh who is a medical doctor said the country would lose if the English is changed.

“There is a language of business, trade, commerce…thank God with our colonial past we have it [English],” he said.

He said that although China has Mandarin as its official language, there is tension in the country because of the ethnic differences.

“We are benefitting from English, we have to promote it,” he said.