The Dean at the Faculty of Ghanaian Languages of the University of Education Winneba, Professor Charles Owu-Ewie says it is unjust to prohibit children from speaking vernacular in schools.
Speaking at a virtual symposium on the role of the mother tongue in improving literacy in Ghana on 3fm 92.7, the Urban blend show, organized in commemoration of the 2021 international mother tongue day, Professor Owu-Ewie bemoaned the habit of punishing students for speaking our local languages at school, he believes this has the tendency of eroding our heritage as a country.
For his part, the Convener of civil society’s platform on SDG goal 5, Joyce Lanyoh called on parents to ensure their children are familiar with their mother tongue as it is the only way they can grow to become proficient readers.
Education specialist of World Vision Ghana, Andrew Dankyi said it unfortunate that a lot of children in Ghana are unable to speak or understand their own mother languages because English has become their first language at home, he worries that they could be slowly losing their identity.
International Mother Language Day is a worldwide annual observance held on 21 February to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.
Mother Language Day is part of a broader initiative by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world. The theme for 2021 is “Fostering multilingualism for inclusion in education and society”