A lecturer at the Institute of African Studies of the University of Ghana, Dr. Obadele Kambon, has challenged President Akufo-Addo’s decision to make the study of French language compulsory in basic and second cycle institutions.
According to him, although the study of French as an international language in schools was important, the country must prioritize the teaching of languages such as Yuroba, Kiswahili and Wolof.
His comment comes on the back of a revelation by President Akufo-Addo that the government is working to make the study of French language compulsory from primary through to Senior High Schools.
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, adding that being proficient in the language will “empower our population with the capacity to survive in this ECOWAS environment.”
But according to Dr. Kambon, the study of other African languages would rather promote African unity and collective gains.
“If we can really start to understand that we are African people, then we can go beyond just looking at the Western languages of our colonial enemies and western languages of our villages to actually learning other African languages. And when we do that, we will be building African collectiveness,” he said in an interview on Eyewitness News.
He added that, Africa’s challenges can best be addressed by building its own systems that include its culture and languages.
“Now you have basically British people with black skin and French people with black skin; so I think we have to remedy this major issue because what we’ve seen is that, lack of knowledge of who we are as African people has got us into the situation that we are in right now; and if we don’t like the situation, let us try knowledge instead of ignorance of ourselves as African people.”
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.