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Religion of Thursday, 22 March 2012

Source: GNA

Provide a policy frame work for French Language- Kuupole urges government

Lack of strong political will to formulate a policy framework for the study of the French language is a major setback that has contributed to the abysmal performance by students studying the language.

Professor Domwini Dabire Kuupole, the Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, on Wednesday said, this had resulted in inconsistencies in the teaching and learning of the language.

He said this at an inaugural lecture at UCC dubbed “from the Savannah to the coastal lands in search of knowledge through the French language: a herd boy’s tale.”

Prof Kuupole told the story of how he rose from being a heard-boy to his present position.

He mentioned other causes to include, inadequate number of teachers produced, lack of interest and continuation, the fear of failure on the part of students , less improved curriculum, insufficient funding, ignorance of the importance of French, and more importantly, a weak political will in promoting the language.

Prof Kuupole appealed to the government to make conscious efforts to provide a framework for the implementation of an educational policy that will seek to solve all the challenges facing the teaching and learning of French.

“People lose interest and drop out due to lack of motivation, psychological inhibition, and probably because of the way the language is handled,” he said, adding that, UCC could admit over 100 French students but would be left with only about 20 in the end.

Prof Kuupole said, in 2008, there was a shortage of 4,000 French teachers at the Junior High School level and also in 2009, out of the total demand of 2,149 French teachers nationwide, only 829 were trained.

He said teachers were mostly posted to the cities leaving the rural areas to their fate, citing an instance in 2010 where in the Northern Region out 174 French teachers posted, only 48 representing 28% were trained with 50% of the total figure deployed in the Tamale area.

“Some headteachers will never even implement French studies in their schools because they themselves do not like it” he said, and that French language was a very important variable in national development and therefore needed to be learnt.

He said the French, which is spoken in over 25 countries by 80 million people either as a first or second language, will help one to gain international recognition.

Prof Kuupole suggested that teachers could be included in curriculum review to improve the quality of learning, and also French, should be made high priority such that its teachers could be given incentives.

He suggested that the government should take a second look at the country’s language policy by implementing a three-language policy by helping every child speak at least two other local languages in addition to the mother tongue

Prof Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, the Vice Chancellor of UCC, suggested that there be a national language for the country to help in smooth communication.**

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