The Ministry of Education has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the French Embassy for assistance to ensure the effective teaching and learning of the French Language.
Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Minister of Education, signed for Ghana while Mr Francois Pujolas, French Ambassador to Ghana, signed for his country, as a ceremony on Friday.
Mr Pujolas said the support, which was worth 700,000 euros, was part of the French government’s “Solidarity Priority Support Fund” project, which was aimed at assisting countries to improve the teaching and learning of French at the pre-tertiary and tertiary levels.
According to him although a lot of support had already gone into that area, a lot more was needed to achieve better learning outcomes.
He explained that three key areas of intervention for the current support would be for the high school level, science oriented institutions and the Mount Mary’s College of Education, which was the Regional Centre for the teaching of French instructors.
Mr Pujolas said learning the French language would not only ensure better trade relations between businesses, but also broaden the horizon of Ghanaians to the Francophone world for healthier collaborations and partnerships.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, for her part, thanked the government of France for the continuous support towards Ghana’s educational improvement, while acknowledging the efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and other partners whose efforts has resulted in the support.
She said the government had embraced the teaching and learning of French as the second foreign language studied in the educational institutions in addition to English, the official language, and the vernacular.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, however, said although French was currently being offered in the junior high schools and was an option in the six programmes at the senior high schools, the results at the Basic Education levels remained a challenge, and that there was the urgent need to remove the bottle-necks to ensure better outcomes.
According to her, the “Support to Initiatives to Provide Training in French as a Foreign Language project,” in its three components, addresses the concerns of the Ministry as far as capacity building of its teachers and trainers of trainers was concerned.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang said the Ministry had also set up a working group on the promotion of French in Ghana to brainstorm on strategies of making its study more attractive to students and to mitigate the perception that the language was a difficult one.
She said the proposals from the group would be duly considered and strategies for implementation adopted upon submission.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang advocated the need for a detailed research to know the areas that needed to be supported so that the corresponding strategies could be developed for effective implementation to achieve results.
She said with the new support facility, the Ministry would create the learning space through formal school clubs to design appropriate learning strategies for both beginners and continuing students to make the learning of the French language enjoyable.