The study of languages is vital for development – Mrs Appiah-Pinkrah

By
Hafsa Obeng / Josephine Dodoo GNA

Accra, Dec. 10, GNA
– Mrs Catherine Agyapomaa Appiah-Pinkrah, Director Pre-Tertiary, Ministry of
Education, has said that for Ghana to develop as expected, it is important to
encourage and promote the study of languages.

She said languages
play a very important role in the development of every nation, hence the need
for it to be encouraged and studied in all tertiary institutions.

She made this
observation at the 7th  graduation ceremony of the Ghana Institute of
Languages (GIL).

The event was held
under the theme: “The role of GIL in training language professionals for the
job market”.

A total of 64
students graduated from the institute, 42 of which graduated from the School of
Bilingual Secretaryship, while 22 graduated from the School of Translators. In
terms of nationality, about 42 graduates were Ghanaians; 3 are Togolese; 2 each
are Beninese, Gabonese and Ivorians; with 1 Senegalese and 1 Equatorial
Guinean.

Mrs Appiah –Pinkrah
said the Ministry is going through a series of transformation and languages are
one of the key areas that were being considered.

She said “we live in
a global world and its important not only to learn the national language or
mother tongue, but also to learn other foreign languages to facilitate
communication”.

“We are rolling out
a new curriculum that also has a touch of the study of languages and as you
also heard, three key institutions are coming together, the Ghana Institute of
Journalism, NAFTI, and GIL so that in the near future journalism students will
have authority over languages.”

“We trade, we
school, we do almost everything around the world and it has to do with
languages and it is timely that now, the Ministry has placed it within the
reform agenda to ensure that languages play a key role,” she said. 

Dr Emmanuel Kobena
Kuto, Director of the Institute, said Ghanaians need to learn foreign languages,
not just to enhance their employment prospects but also to make them better
people.

“Every language
represents a different culture, way of life and world view. Every additional
language we learn makes us more knowledgeable, open, cosmopolitan, tolerant and
powerful. A language learned is akin to money in the pocket.”

He said many young
people are unemployed or poorly employed and very few are taking advantage of
the opportunity to train as language professionals.

Dr Kuto said when
the Institute was established in 1961, its mandate was to train language
professionals for public service especially foreign missions but currently the
dynamics of geopolitics have shifted dramatically and global trade was the
order of the day.

These interactions
require well trained and competent language professionals, translators,
interpreter, and language teachers as mediators and facilitators. This
translates to good high paying jobs for the youth, he said.

Dr Kuto called
stakeholder of the education sector to prioritize language learning by helping
and encouraging the youth to learn languages, thus parents must encourage their
wards and language teachers must change their attitude and approach to make
language learning a pleasant experience for students.

He said the
Institute is ready and willing to play a pivotal role in this trajectory of
language consciousness and urged the graduates to pursue excellence in their
work.

Mrs Priscilla Boadi,
Scholarship Secretariat, said it is gratifying to see students exhibit
commitment to the acquisition of knowledge as far as language is concerned not
only as a means of securing their future well-being but also to empower
themselves to contribute their quota to national development.

The students of
these prestigious professions such as languages need to come to terms with the
fact their chosen professions are not only avenues for personal gain, but
rather, a call to serve mankind with dignity and selflessness.

GNA

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