In an effort to improve upon the educational standards in the basic schools, the Ghana Education Service with other stakeholders in education embarked on national policy aimed at intermittent of mother tongue in early childhood schooling to facilitates English language and literacy instruction in the country. Following years of analysis and research, they came up with a flashy program, The National Literacy Acceleration Program dabbed (NALAP) across the national schools in early 2010.
The flashy policy which targeted creating enabling environment to support bilingual education in order to imprement a comprehensive and innovative multilingual program was welcomed by parents, teachers and other stakeholders of education. However, some actions being taken by the GES in recent years seemed to undermine the flashy nature of NALAP which need to be addressed by the powers that be to safeguard the educational standards in the country.
To start with, a huge numbers of trained teachers from the Colleges of Education (COE) in the Southern part of the country, specifically Kumasi and Accra are posted to basic schools in the northern part to teach at the early childhood stage while some are also posted from the north to the south. According to the NALAP program, these teachers are expected to use the local language of the learners as the medium of instruction which the posted teachers have no knowledge of. The language barrier is making those teachers redundant at the field hence making them square pegs in round holes.
Opera News reporter recently encountered a newly trained teacher named Adamisi Bugire who was posted to a basic school at Bantama-Kumasi and was compelled to teach Twi since that was the only vacant subject available. Hence, Kwabena Yeboah who hails from Kumasi has been posted to a basic school at a rural area in the Savannah Region to teach at the primary school. How do you expect such teacher who has spent his/her entire life in the Southern part to teach pupils who dont even understand the queen's language.
We want to enforce Mother Tongue based bilingual medium of instruction but the posting system is not making it effective. What could be the contributing factors to the breakdown of this flashy educational program. Is it luck of enough Colleges of Education in the northern part of the country as compared to the south?
The Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service and other stakeholders must address the lapses to enhance the standards of education. May God Bless Our Homeland Ghana
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