The teaching and learning of French language in Ghana have been given a boost, following a 700,000 Euro support from the Embassy of France.
A statement issued by the French Embassy and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday said the main purpose of the Fund was to develop and improve the teaching of the French language to meet the needs of learners in key institutional sectors such as the secondary level of education, the universities (scientific and technical fields) and the public service.
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister for Education and Mr François Pujolas, France Ambassador to Ghana signed an agreement to that effect.
The statement said the cooperation between the two countries had been translated into concrete terms into a number of projects over the years.
According to the Embassy, so far, 380 senior high school teachers have been trained to use a new French textbook and more modern ways of teaching so as to motivate their students, while teachers at the university and in the public service were trained to include professional content to meet the needs of their trainees.
The statement said seminars on the status of French within the various institutions, the review of syllabus and the creation of adequate teaching and learning resources as well as pedagogical training in Francophone countries were also organized.
It said in addition, several institutions (54 schools, six universities and seven institutions) were being equipped with information technology (IT) material such as computers, self-learning software, video projectors and satellite dish to enable students improve their skills during or after classes.
It said from now till 2018, many more teachers would be trained on teaching methodology, relevant teaching material, IT resources and assessment issues.
On the way forward for better regional integration, the statement said the French Embassy was very positive on Ghana Government’s vision to popularize French among the Ghanaian society, to introduce it from the primary level of education and to consolidate it at the junior high school and senior high school levels.
“In its realization, we take into consideration the requests expressed by the Ministry of Education regarding the review of curricula at different levels, the training of more teachers through the Colleges of Education, and the integration of IT in the process of teaching and learning,” the statement noted.
It said the French Embassy was therefore, going to submit requests for additional funding to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Meanwhile, we encourage Ghana to continue strengthening its ties with the International Organization of Francophonie, to also benefit from their expertise and support alongside ours,” it stated.
Mr Pujolas said, “the practice of the French language is Ghana’s best regional integration tool and it’s also one of the best ways for economic development as a facilitator of dialogue, negotiations, and harmonization with its neighbours.”
“It is the key element that will enable Ghana to expand its labor market and we are very pleased to help in the realization of this outcome,” he added.
The statement said Ghanaians engage their West African neighbours in economic, political and cultural transactions which foster the integration of the sub region.
It noted that however, a major challenge for its success remains the use of French language.
It said this this reality had long been identified by both the Ghanaian government and the French Embassy, who have therefore, placed emphasis on the teaching and learning of the French language in the education system and the public service.