Make study of Hausa compulsory, not French – Kwesi Pratt says
According to him, Hausa is spoken in every part of Ghana, it is the dominant language in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, and that it has become an international language.
“If you want to introduce common language in West Africa to facilitate trade and so forth, the most widely spoken language in West Africa is Hausa not French or English. I don’t know anywhere in Ghana that they don’t speak Hausa. Nigeria which is the largest economy in West Africa, Hausa is the dominant language and so on. So, if we want to promote West Africa trade and so on, why would we promote French instead of Hausa? Hausa is the dominant language in West Africa and Hausa has become an international language…” he said on Peace FM Friday.
“If Hausa is already the widest spoken language in West Africa, why don’t we use Hausa? Why don’t we develop Hausa to become the official language of West Africa if that is what we want? Why do you go for French?”
“…so what future are we looking at? Are we looking at the next 5 years? Are we looking at the next 30 years? Are we looking at the next 100 years? What projections have we made that we’re saying French should be a compulsory language in our Senior High Schools?” he quizzed.
Mr Pratt also added that if the government wants to make language as an instrument for development, then the study of Chinese has an edge over French because there are more Chinese speakers in the world.
"...if we’re taking a global approach to language as an instrument for business and so on, why French? Why not Chinese? Chinese is more widely spoken than French…Chinese is becoming an international language today…” he said.
He made the comments in response to a statement by President Akufo-Addo that French will be made a compulsory subject in Senior High School.
During a visit to Togo last Wednesday, the president noted that to survive in the ECOWAS sub-region, it would be essential if majority of Ghanaians can speak French.
"We are committed to making French a compulsory language in our schools right down to the end of senior high school but for that to happen we have to sit down with the educational authorities and work out exactly what it needs... We’ll take this decision because as far back as 10 years ago when I led Ghana into La Francophonie in Bucharest, the decision was that the La Francophonie organisation would help us with the teachers of French in the schools. Because at the end of the day, everything you do about education always comes back to the teachers," he said.
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