The Deputy Minister of Education in-charge of Basic Education, Mr. Alex Kyere-meh, has reiterated the need to use local languages to teach in schools, especially at the basic level, saying it remains the ideal way to ensure effective transfer of knowledge in the school environment.
Mr. Kyeremeh said using the English language to teach children who were now entering the schools, would amount to a disservice to the children, their parents and the nation at large.
“At this stage of their lives, it is very important that dominant languages in their local areas are used to teach them because research has shown that children have a better understanding of whatever they are taught if it is done in the language they understand best,” he said during a tour of some public basic schools in the La-Nkwantanang-Madina municipality (LaNMA), in Accra yesterday to mark “My First Day at School” day for the 2015/2016 academic year.
The day is observed across the country on the first school day of every academic year to welcome kindergarten one pupils to the formal education sector.
It is also to make the children have a first time experience with other stakeholders in the education sector, and expose the authorities to the challenges the schools are confronted with.
Mr. Kyeremeh was accompanied by the Deputy Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr. Stephen Adu, the Municipal Chief Executive of the area, Mr. Franklin Anku, the Member of Parliament for the area, Alhaji Amadu Sorogho, Mrs. Doris Gyedu-Nuako, the Deputy National Co-ordinator of the Early Childhood Education Department at the GES and Mrs. Elizabeth Oduro Mensah, Education Director of the municipality and other officials from the assembly and GES.
Mr. Kyeremeh said, the use of the local language in teaching at the kindergarten level, was a GES guideline which must be adhered to by all school authorities if the children were to have a good start to education in the country.
Because of the importance of the local language in education, Mr. Kyeremeh said language barrier was considered in posting teachers to schools across the country and called on headteachers of the schools to take advantage and deploy teachers to the classes appropriately.
The Deputy Minister said the government would continue with its pro-poor policies to ensure that all children remained in the classroom, adding that items needed for effective teaching and learning, had all been sorted out to ensure a smooth term and academic year.
Government, he said, was committed to improving teaching and learning conditions in schools, as evident by educational infrastructure projects dotted around the country and called on parents, guardians, teachers and other stakeholders to support the government for the realisation of a total transformation of the country’s education sector.
Mrs. Doris Gyedu-Nuako, speaking to The Ghanaian Times on the sidelines of the tour said early childhood education was critical to the development of the child as they began their academic journey.
She said there must be incentives like play- grounds which would serve as motivational factors to encourage and embrace formal education even at their level.
The play logistics, Mrs. Gyedu-Nuako said, would not only motivate the children to be in school but help in healthy exercises that would keep them fit.
According to her, Ghana was doing well in early childhood education, but said more must be done including educating parents on the need to enroll their children in school at the ideal age of four.
Mr. Franklin Anku, who used the tour to inspect some ongoing projects in the area, said his outfit was on course to meet the educational needs of the people in the area, and called for their support.
Some of the schools visited include Otinibi, Methodist, Kweiman Presby, and Ayi Mensah Basic schools including the Aishaa Bintu Khalifah Islamic Primary School.
In all, 30, 12, 30, 29 and 10 pupils reported in the above schools respectively on the first day of the 2015/2016 academic year in the municipality.
The Shai-Osudoku District Chief Executive, Mr. Emmanuel A.O Lartey has reiterated the assembly’s commitment to provide adequate infrastructure to address accommodation challenges facing some teachers in deprived communities in the area, reports Lawrence Vomafa-Akpalu.
That, he said would help make those areas attractive towards improved academic performance.
Mr. Lartey gave the assurance when he toured some schools in the area as part of the “My first day at school” activities.
He was accompanied by the District Director of Education, Mrs Ivy Grace Atsu-Mensah and other officials of the assembly and the education directorate.
Mr. Lartey said adequate classroom infrastructure had been provided, what was left now was how to match it with staff bungalows near the schools to discourage the practice where teachers had to travel long distances to school and often got tired before they got there.
“All those under construction have been completed, we are left with a few for some deprived areas,” he said.
He expressed the assembly’s readiness to continue its mentorship programme for all junior high school pupils, especially girls to ensure that the area had a 100 per cent pass record.
The DCE urged the teachers to constantly liaise with the education authorities on their needs so that collectively they could find solutions to the teething problems confronting the sector.
The Ga South Municipal Assembly has handed over a five unit classroom block to the Avornyokope Community Calvary Baptist Basic School to replace the deplorable structure that was previously being used by the pupils and tutors at the school, reports Bernard Benghan.
The Municipal Chief Executive Mr. Jerry Nii Akwei Thompson, presented the keys to the Assembly’s District Education Director, when he visited some selected schools yesterday, as the nation marked “My first day at school”.
He said the assembly was soliciting more funds to replace schools with deplorable structures to enhance teaching and learning and urged Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) to partner the assembly.
He said it was the duty of the PTAs to support projects in their schools since the assembly lacked funds to implement the projects alone.
“The assembly cannot do all, we need the support of the PTAs, benevolent individuals and organisations to help us provide better structures for pupils and tutors in our community.”
“That’s why the assembly welcomes anybody who would like to support financially or with building materials to enable us execute these projects” he said.
The District Education Director, Mrs Margaret Frimpong-Kore, thanked the assembly for providing the school with a new block and urged the pupils to learn hard to become responsible citizens.
From Cape Coast, David O. Yarboi-Tetteh, reports that the Central Regional Minister, Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, yesterday visited some selected basic schools in the region as part of a programme to welcome new students to the school.
As part of the visits, he presented to the schools teachers’ note books, chalk, registers and also presented school uniforms, exercise books and writing materials to the new students.
He visited Ekon Primary “B”, Ekon Early Childhood Development Centre, Wesley Girls Basic School in the Cape Coast metropolis and Moree D.A. Basic School in the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankesi District.
At the Ekon Primary B, 22 pupils had enrolled in class one, while that of Ekon Early Childhood Development Centre was 10, Wesley Girls Basic, 40 and Moree Basic 32.
Some of the pupils were accompanied by their parents to the school while others were accompanied by their siblings.
He used the occasion to admonish them to take keen interest in their studies due to the important role education played in transforming their lives.
He underscored the need for the parents to invest in the education of their children, while expressing concern about the high incidence of teenage pregnancy in the region.
The Headteacher of Ekon Primary B, Ms. Justina Nzoley, in her remarks, expressed appreciation to the Regional Minister and his entourage for their support and encouragement.
The Regional Minister was accompanied by the Central Regional Director of Education, B.T. Ofori, Cape Coast Metropolitan Director of Education, Ms Florence Inkoom, and the Cape Coast Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mrs Priscilla Arhin-Kuranchie.
By Julius Yao Petetsi