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Pratt "Downplays" French Language...Prefers Hausa As Official Language Instead   
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Kwesi Pratt Jnr (L) and Prez Akufo-Addo (R)
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Kwesi Pratt has downplayed the relevance in studying French language in Senior High Schools as widely held by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has disclosed that his government plans to make the study of French language compulsory in all Senior High Schools from next academic year in September.

The government intends to make the language compulsory to promote neighborliness between Ghana and her neighboring countries.

The President made this remark in Togo during a two-day official visit to the country.

According to him, Ghana, which is surrounded by three Francophone countries should be proficient in the French language.

“[I’m] strongly for making French a compulsory language in our schools right up to the end of Senior High School. I’m fortified in taking this decision because as far back as 10 years ago when I left Ghana into la Francophone I did so in Bucharest. The decision was that the Francophone organization will help us with the teachers of French in the schools because at the end of the day everything you did in the education always comes back to the teachers,” he said.

But Kwesi Pratt disagrees with the government because to him, the French language doesn't have an international appeal as compared to the Hausa language.

Contributing to a panel discussion on Friday's edition of "Kokrokoo" on PeaceFM, Mr. Pratt preferred Hausa takes precedence over the French language, and therefore called on the government to make the study of Hausa compulsory instead of French.

If you want to introduce common language in West Africa to facilitate trade and so forth, the most widely spoken language in West Africa is Hausa not French or English. I don’t know anywhere in Ghana that they don’t speak Hausa. Nigeria which is the largest economy in West Africa, Hausa is the dominant language and so on. So, if we want to promote West Africa trade and so on, why would we promote French instead of Hausa? Hausa is the dominant language in West Africa and Hausa has become an international language…”

To him, Hausa should become the official language in the nation.

If Hausa is already the widest spoken language in West Africa, why don’t we use Hausa? Why don’t we develop Hausa to become the official language of West Africa if that is what we want? Why do you go for French?

“…so what future are we looking at? Are we looking at the next 5 years? Are we looking at the next 30 years? Are we looking at the next 100 years? What projections have we made that we’re saying French should be a compulsory language in our Senior High Schools?” he questioned.

Mr. Pratt backed his assertions with a claim that "language is carried on the back of economic development and development in scientific technology if your influence in the world is what makes the language grow and thrive” and so if the government wants to market the country, then the choice for French isn't the sure way.

"...if we’re taking a global approach to language as an instrument for business and so on, why French? Why not Chinese? Chinese is more widely spoken than French…Chinese is becoming an international language today…” he said on Peace FM's Kokrokoo.
Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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