Nii Ayikoi Otoo, President, Ga GaDangme Council, launching the GaDangme Strategic Blueprint. Pictures: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
Nii Ayikoi Otoo, President, Ga GaDangme Council, launching the GaDangme Strategic Blueprint. Pictures: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA

GaDangme Council launches educational fund, strategic plan

The GaDangme Council has launched an Education Trust Fund and a Strategic Blueprint to promote education among the people and to enhance community development within GaDangme settlements.

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The Education Trust Fund is targeted at providing support and resources to individuals in need of educational assistance, particularly towards preserving and promoting the Ga and Dangme languages.

The Strategic Blueprint outlines long-term goals, objectives and strategies for the future, as well as serving as a roadmap for the growth and development of GaDangme communities.

The Education Trust Fund is expected to raise GH₵1 million in the first year for the award of scholarships.

The council has consequently unveiled a 10-member Education Trust Fund Board, headed by the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, to oversee the raising of funds and equitable distribution of the scholarships to deserving recipients.

The Education Trust Fund board also include the Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam Nartey George; academician and retired Supreme Court judge, Prof. Nii Ashie Kotey; and university don, Prof. Michael Ayitey Tagoe.

The other members of the board are Dr Kwaku Sowah, Dr Regina Oforiwa Caesar, Lawyer Larry Adjei and Dr Alex Glover Quartey.

Concerns

At the launch of the two initiatives in Accra, the President of the GaDangme Council, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, expressed worry about the gradual decline of the usage of the Ga language even in the region, bemoaning how other non-native languages were gaining grounds in the region.

Some participants in the event

Some participants in the event

He, particularly, expressed worry about the lack of Ga and Dangme teachers in the region, and said it made it difficult for the teaching and learning of the languages in GaDangme communities.

Nii Otoo, who is also a former Attorney-General, said the Education Trust Fund would grant scholarships to brilliant needy learners, and sponsor students to the tertiary level to study courses in the Ga and Dangme languages for onward transfer to various schools in the region to aid the teaching and learning of the GaDangme languages.

“We believe that with this education fund, we will be able to support many children in GaDangme communities who are of school-age but do not have the needed support to be in school,” he said.

GaDangme radio

He also lamented the influx of Akan radio stations in the capital while the Council had been denied the opportunity to receive their own frequency over the years.

“Many times, we have requested a frequency to broadcast in our language just as we have been bombarded with other languages every day, but they always tell us that the frequencies are finished; that it is difficult to get one, yet people keep opening new radio stations every day.

We are here, and before you realise a new radio station has started transmitting,” he said.

“As we speak, they have only agreed to give us a community radio frequency instead of a commercial one.

They will give us a community radio frequency so that we can only transmit among our people but cannot go beyond Accra like they do for other stations,” this is unacceptable.

Rightful place

Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam George expressed excitement over the initiative saying that it was long overdue but it was better late than never.

Mr George expressed excitement about the initiative, saying it was long overdue, although it was better late than never.

He said if a people lost their language, then they automatically lost their culture, and called for unity among the GaDangme people to find a lasting solution to the challenge.

“It is important that the people of GaDangme take our rightful place and get the rightful recognition.

We are very hospitable people so people are welcomed to stay on our land, but our people must be respected.

 Our culture, our tradition and our language must be respected,” he said.

“It is extremely important that Ghana Education Service takes note of what we are talking about because it is extremely heartbreaking that kids in schools in the Greater Accra Region are unable to get tutelage in the Ga language.

GADANGME

We have our children who are to be taught Ga or Dangme being compelled to learn other languages.

“For us, it is a major issue, and that is why we are setting up the educational fund to allow us train more GaDangme teachers, and the GES must post them to Greater Accra so that they can be of good use to the people here,” he added. 

Assurance

Prof. Aryeetey said although the task assigned the members of the board was hectic, they accepted to do it knowing that the GaDangmes were saddled with various challenges, particularly with education.

“Indeed, as GaDangmes, we have challenges because our language has been relegated to the margins, but we will work to ensure that we change the narrative in the region,” he assured.

In attendance were the Asere Tsonor Mantse, Nii Kwao Donkor II; Ngleshie Adentan Mantse, Nii Ayikoi VI; and Adabraka Mantse, Nii Tetteh Adjabeng.

GADANGME

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