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Regional News of Saturday, 28 February 2015

Source: GNA

International Mother Language Day celebrated

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Dr. Avea Ephraim Nosh, a Lecturer at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Department of Gur-Gonja Languages Education, has called on lecturers, students to collectively work with politicians and other stakeholders in education to ensure that children continue to benefit from their mother tongue in a much improved manner.

Dr. Nosh made the called in a presentation delivered on the topic “Are indigenous Languages still relevant in the current dispensation?” at a durbar as part of this year’s International Mother Language Day Celebration held at the College of Languages Education, UEW Ajumako Campus.

The celebration was on the theme “Inclusion in and through Language Education counts”, was attended by personalities including, chiefs in the area led by the Paramount Chief Ajumako Traditional Council Nana Ogeabo Ababio Hammah, lecturers of the UEW, students and other stakeholders in education.

The General Conference of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Culture Organization (UNESCO) in November, 1999 declared 21st February every year as the International Mother Language Day aimed at promoting awareness of linguistic and culture diversity, multilingualism and above all, to promote and indemnify the linguistic rights of individuals specially children across member countries.

The United Nations General Assembly on 16th May, 2009 endorsed it compelling all member countries “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world” which fortunately, these international conventions found expression and space in Ghana’s national laws including the language policy in education and in the 1992 constitution, he added.

Dr. Nosh said on International Mother Language Day it was legitimate to seek answers to the questions why thousands of BECE and WASCE graduates should be denied admission into the higher institutions when they pass Kasem, Asante or Ewe but fail the English language, a situation in which the young ones were deny opportunities because of artificially created languages barriers, which were inexhaustible and heart breaking.

“The day reminds us of the responsibility to our children with respect to the use of language in education and we cannot talk of inclusive education when thousands of children are excluded from education simply because they speak a particular language from some part of the county or just that they cannot pass some foreign language examination, these are discrimination and the constitution of the country frowns on them,” he added.

He said there was no doubt about the relevance of indigenous languages in the present day of “our” country or even the current global setting whereby we have to accept the fact that the we have gone a long way but much more needs to be done.

According to him, as a people, we have to realize that our attitudes to mother tongue worldwide is not different from what is seen in the country and for that matter policy makers should speed up with the language policy.

Earlier in the day students from various tribes at the University dressed in their tribal costumes, amidst drumming and dancing to portray the rich culture and traditions, as well as entertain the gathering.

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