The Acting Dean of the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Professor Kofi Agyekum, has called for the inclusion of grassroots participation in governance through the use of the mother tongue.
He said “whenever the language is switched from that of the masses, plans for economic, agricultural and industrial developments are more difficult to make”. He advised that Ghana’s local languages must be developed to become a means of regular communication.
Professor Agyekum made this call at a Public Lecture organised by the Department of Ghanaian Language and Linguistics, to commemorate 2019 International Mother Language celebration under the theme, “Indigenous languages matter for development, peace building and reconciliation”.
Speak Mother Language to Promote Culture and Heritage of Ghana
Speaking at the programme the Pro Vice Chancellor of University of Cape Coast, Prof. Dora F. Edu-Buondoh expressed worry that some Ghanaians did not love to speak their own mother tongue. She said that some Ghanaians had become foreigners in their own land and thrown their culture away. She advised that “whiles learning foreign languages to advance ourselves, we should as well learn our local languages too, this is the only way we can keep our culture and heritage”.
Brief History of International Mother Language Day
International Mother Language Day is a worldwide celebration observed on 21st of February with the aim of promoting awareness of linguistic, cultural, diversity and promoting multilingual. The celebration was first announced by the UNESCO on November 17, 1999 and was formerly recognised by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in a resolution established in 2008 as International Mother Language Day. This day is celebrated every year with the overall objective to promote linguistic diversity and multilingual education.
Celebration of International Mother Language Day in UCC
The Department of Ghanaian Language and Linguistics of the University of Cape Coast started observing the day three years ago. The first celebration was marked with a Public Lecture on the theme, "Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education." which was delivered by a lecturer from the School of Language, University of Education, Winneba. The second was celebrated as part of the Faculty of Arts Lecture series on the theme, “The Need for Review and Stability of Language on the Mother Language Education”.