The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has urged educational institutions and other stakeholders to expedite action in addressing the issue of low performance of students in the French Language in order to help the country to achieve its bilingual feat.
He observed that students' performance in the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) and at the West African School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in the French Language did not meet government's expectations and stressed on the need to make the study of French more attractive as students developed a phobia for the subject early in senior high schools with the claim that it was difficult.
“We must together undertake an honest introspection of this phenomenon and address some of the underlying issues that dissuade students from French,” Dr prempeh said in a speech read on his behalf at the launch of the French e-Learning Platform (FeLP) in Accra today.
French e-Learning Platform
The platform, instituted by the Crystal Galaxy College of Aviation and Professional Studies, is aimed at providing professionals and students with a modern convenient tool for the learning of the French Language.
The course to be offered on the platform is meant for adults with a “good command” over the English Language and is divided into three modules; beginner, intermediate and proficiency which modules would last for a period of three months each.
Students who patronise FeLP, which was created in partnership with Metlite, an information and communication technology (ICT) company and Espace Francophone Ghana, are expected to be able to express themselves, introduce their names, age, address and professions, among others.
“The challenges in the teaching and learning of a foreign language are considerable; a cognitive effort is demanded of both the teacher and the learner, the material resources to create a conducive environment inimical to the natural environment is indispensable and the political will to inspire and educate Ghanaians on the importance of learning the French Language,” Dr Prempeh said.
He further explained that if Ghanaians learnt French, it could raise the country’s economic prospect within the West Africa sub region by increasing the number of transactions within ECOWAS and also reach more favourable agreements because countries that shared a common language boost their international trade by 30 per cent.
Dr Prempeh said the government, through his ministry, had initiated a number of policies to facilitate the acquisition of the ‘communication tool’ at all levels of the educational system.
He mentioned the revision of the teaching curricula and tools, improvement in education schemes, introduction of a bilingual school programme at the basic level of education, among others, as some efforts being made by government to push the cause.
The minister commended the college for initiating the step it had taken to move traditional teaching methods to a relatively interactive platform and urged other institutions to emulate the example.
He added that “It is my hope that this project will energise the teaching and learning of French in this school, and I wish you the very best in your pursuit of this.”
For his part, the platform coordinator, Mr Alain Ferolle, advised would-be students to chart a consistent path in learning the French Language and not to do so under compulsion.
He proceeded to express gratitude to the government and other stakeholders for supporting the cause.