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Methodist minister urges action on Ga language

BY: Faith Ayorkor Mensah
Nii Tetteh Adjabeng II (left), Adabraka Atokpai Mantse, presenting the winners’ prize to Naa Merley Menyansah (3rd from right) and Mrs Adoley Allotey (2nd from right) of the Grace Methodist Church, Lartebiokoshie
Nii Tetteh Adjabeng II (left), Adabraka Atokpai Mantse, presenting the winners’ prize to Naa Merley Menyansah (3rd from right) and Mrs Adoley Allotey (2nd from right) of the Grace Methodist Church, Lartebiokoshie

A minister of the Methodist Church Ghana, Very Rev. Daniel Kpabitey, has called on the Ministry of Education to identify Ga teacher trainees right from school and post them to Ga communities to teach the language.

He said metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) could also identify young people in their respective areas who had interest in attending colleges of education and sign agreements with them to support them go through the colleges, study Ga and come back to teach the language in the area.

"The assemblies should begin to do this, sponsor the people, so that when they finish they would come and serve in their communities," he said, adding that this would preserve the tradition and heritage of Ga land.

Very Rev. Kpabitey, who is the Superintendent Minister of the Kaneshie Circuit of the Methodist Church Ghana in the Accra Diocese, made the call in an interview on the sidelines of the semi-finals of the Inter-Community Churches Ga Quiz Competition in Accra, lamenting the gradual phasing out of the language in the basic school curriculum.

"Accra is being dominated by Akans, and a time is coming, in our churches and communities, Ga would not be heard. Everybody would be speaking Akan and other dialects," he lamented.

Education

Tertiary educational institutes, he said, had trained some students to teach the Ga language, but such students, he said, were posted to Akan-speaking communities after their education.

Sharing his personal experience, he said he majored in Dangme at the University of Education, Winneba, but the only time he taught Dangme in his teaching career was during school practicals.

The Ministry of Education, he said, should take note of such teachers whenever postings were ongoing in order to post them to Ga communities where their services would be profitable.

Universities and the colleges of education in Accra, he said, should make the Ga language a mandatory course for students to enable them to be fluent in the language.

He said there was the need for an association of Ga teachers, if one did not already exist, to bring all Ga teachers together to properly draw a plan for improving upon the current situation.

Quiz

The Inter-Community Churches Ga Quiz was initiated by the GaDangme Literacy Foundation, in collaboration with the Adabraka Atukpai Stool, Osu Traditional Council and the Korle Klottey Municipal Assembly, and was dubbed: "Kasemo Ni Owie Ga".

It was started last year to help the younger generation to learn to read and write the Ga language, and to project the speaking of the language in Ga land.

Eight churches — Calvary Baptist Church, Adabraka; Living God Church, Korle Gonno; Osu Methodist Church, the Kaneshie Presbyterian Church, Adabraka Methodist Church, Korle Gonno Apostolic Church, Kaneshie Methodist Church and the Lartebiokorshie Methodist Church — participated in the competition.

The contest covered various Ga customs and traditions, and general knowledge and riddles in the Ga community.

The Lartebiokorshie Methodist Church emerged winners with 35 points, followed by Adabraka Methodist Church and Korlegonno Apostolic Church, who tied in second place with 31 points each.

All contestants received Ga literature.

Learning

The Chief of Adabraka, Nii Tetteh Adjabeng II, said the quiz was a platform for educating all members of the GaDangme traditional areas on the customs and traditions of the Ga people.

He also stated that the contest was going to be extended to other Ga communities, and expressed the hope that one day, it would go to a national level where Ga people in the different regions would come together to hold the contest.