The Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has hinted at the government’s commitment towards deepening ties with the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) towards strengthening the teaching and learning of French in the country.
He explained that the move was to promote and expand the teaching and learning of the French language by enhancing the pedagogical and didactic skills of French teachers in institutions across the country.
The Education Minister lauded OIF and other French agencies contributing towards the teaching and learning of the French language in various institutions in the country.
Dr Adutwum announced this in an address read for him on Friday, November 11, 2022 at the closing session of a one-week capacity-building workshop organized for volunteer teachers and their peers from the Regional Centres for the Teaching of French, Bilingual Schools pilot project and the Colleges of Education with French option.
A total of forty-two French teachers benefitted from the training organized by the OIF which was aimed at strengthening the pedagogical and didactic skills of the volunteers and their Ghanaian peers.
The Education Minister indicated that frantic effort was being made by the government towards the teaching and learning of the French language in the country.
Dr Adutwum mentioned that promoting bilingual education was to create a peaceful environment where Ghanaian languages will peacefully cohabitate with the French language through inter-comprehension with the English language.
He stated that the strategic location of Ghana makes it crucial to take the teaching and learning of the French language seriously.
He added that the ‘French Teacher Mobility’ programme which was launched early this year is one such initiative towards promoting the teaching of the language in the country.
The Education Minister indicated that the fact that Ghana is surrounded three French speaking countries makes it prudent for Ghanaians to make the speaking of the language a critical issue due to national security, socio-economic and other factors.
The Coordinator of the CREF network, Ms Rennie YOTOVA, said the training was a good platform for all the teachers to share ideas and learn new things from their peers.
She explained that the capacity building was within the framework of the training sessions organized under the flagship project “Mobility of teachers of and in French”, by the OIF in partnership with the Ministry of Education in collaboration with CAVILAM-Alliance Française.
Commenting on the focus of the training, Ms Yotova urged the participants to take a keen interest in the training offered to them and make sure they make good use of the knowledge acquired during the training towards improving effective teaching and learning in Ghana and the rest of the world.
She was upbeat that OIF would continue to collaborate with various stakeholders and international bodies to support the teaching and learning of the French language in countries in the world to promote trade and other development initiatives.
On his part, the French Coordinator at the Ministry of Education, Tchitchi Kondo-Ayiga, hinted at plans to set up a similar training model next year aimed at developing oral skills in French as a Foreign Language classroom that will be subsequently scaled up on the same model in 2024 via the CREFs network.
He stated that everything possible would be done to ensure that more training programmes are offered to French teachers and other stakeholders towards enhancing the speaking and writing of the French language in Ghana and the rest of the world.
The CAVILAM Alliance Française de Vichy, France, Ms Hélène ÉMILE, recounted the various benefits countries could be derived from speaking and writing the French language.
She praised the OIF, the Ministry of Education and other institutions supporting the frantic effort at promoting effective teaching and learning of the French language across the globe.
The official language of Ghana is English and according to the 2018 Ministry of Education (MoE) Sector Analysis, there are at least 69 different languages in the country and the most widely spoken language is Twi.
In the public education system, instruction is in a local language, chosen according to the location of the school, up to Basic 3 (equivalent to third grade). Before that, English is introduced gradually, first orally and then in writing from Basic 2 (equivalent to CE1).
The introduction of the French language is to help many Ghanaian students to speak French which happens to be common among the neighbouring countries.