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Education Minister, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, has asked heads and teachers of basic schools to desist from the use of the English language as the sole medium of instruction in the classrooms.
Heads of basic schools, she noted, introduced English Language too early, making it difficult to prepare students adequately for higher academic learning.
She therefore urged teachers to use the local languages as medium of instruction in the classroom and gradually introduce the English language after the local language had been fully developed.
“When we teach children in languages that they do not understand, teaching and learning do not take place and frustration begins to build,” she said in Accra last Monday at a ceremony to mark the beginning of the assessment teachers for the 2014 National Best Teachers Award.
Shortlisted teachers are being interviewed by a panel of educationists and the best among them would be selected for the awards on October 5 to coincide with the World Teachers Day.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang said studies had shown that students performed better when taught in the local language and appealed to the teachers to endeavour to use the local language as a medium of instruction at the basic level.
Unhappy that there was no Best Teacher in Ghanaian Language category award, she urged organisers of the programme to make provision for local languages in future ceremonies.
“The inclusion of Ghanaian language is critical. It is important for learning. Sometimes, we compare ourselves unfavourably with countries like Malaysia and
South Korea, but all these countries teach in their local languages,” she said.
She commended teachers shortlisted for the interview and urged them to continue to work hard.
“Nobody can thank any teacher well enough. You are making significant contributions to the development of the country,” she said and added that the state would forever be grateful for the contributions of teachers.
The Director of Education in charge of Pre-Tertiary Education, Ms Rebiana Azara Amandi, said a total of 170 teachers had been selected from all the 10 regions to be interviewed for the awards.
Categories for the awards according to her, included Best Teacher in Mathematics, Science, French, and Special Education. She assured that a category for Best Teacher in Ghanaian Language would be included in subsequent ceremonies.
Ms. Amandi said the teachers shortlisted, were nominated by their school heads, community elders and some students and added that they had successfully gone through the circuit, district and regional interviews before being selected for the national.
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