Pupils writing the Basic Education Certificate Examination
President Akufo Addo has disclosed that his government plans to make the study of French language compulsory in all Senior High Schools.
According to him, the government intends to make significant progress by making the language compulsory from September in the next academic year.
President Akufo-Addo made the disclosure in Togo on a two-day official visit to that country.
The compulsory study of the French language in Ghana is currently limited to some basic public schools. The language is also an examinable subject at the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
In spite of this, most Ghanaians are not proficient in the language, a situation Nana Akufo-Addo says is unacceptable.
According to him, Ghana, which is surrounded by three francophone countries, must not be seen to be lagging behind in communicating in the French language.
“I’m strongly for making French a compulsory language in our schools right up to the end of senior high school. I’m fortified in taking this decision because as far back as 10 years ago when I left Ghana into la Francophone, I did so in Bucharest. The decision was that the Francophone organization will help us with the teachers of French in the schools because at the end of the day, everything you did in the education always comes back to the teachers,” he said.
“Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the minister for education, has it as a major priority on his agenda so I think that between now and hopefully the next academic year, some positive development is going to come out of it because, to me, it is absolutely essential that we do so, so that we empower our population with the capacity to survive in this ECOWAS environment. People speak English, but we don’t speak French. It is not good; and I think that we have to go about it that way,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has welcomed the decision by the government. The General Secretary, Ofori Acheampong, in an interview on the subject, said the idea is long overdue.