Principal Programme Officer in charge of Education at the Ghana Commission for UNESCO, Moses J.Y Gemeh, has disclosed the country’s public spaces do not promote the use of local languages.
In most of Ghanaian work places, the Parliament house, and hospitals, English has become the primary means of communication.
“Because of this, every parent will be worried if the child does not acquire proficiency in the English Language. The system forces the child to choose English Language without thinking about the long-term effect,” he shared on the special discussion as part of the e.tv Ghana ‘Made In Ghana Month’ on the topic; ‘Relevance of the Ghanaian Language Today’ hosted by Eunice Tornyi.
There are also parents with the perception their children can only be regarded as enlightened by speaking English. According to Moses Gemeh, “we regard the Ghanaian Language as not worthy enough and we force children to speak English and that has an effect on them. They begin to lose their culture and sense of belonging.”
Citing another reason parents push their wards to speak English over the Ghanaian Language, he pointed out that some couples do not speak a common language, hence, using English in their household.
Since 1967, International Literacy Day (ILD) celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.
Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist with at least 771 million young people and adults lacking basic literacy skills today.