Last week I opened to the world about my ‘Walking Conflict’ and Earl Ankrah called me at 11:49pm last Friday and poured out his ‘conflicts’ too; so I asked him to type it out in its raw state so that my dear readers can also enjoy.
OK; you are on point. It’s a miracle that we manage to walk @ all; let alone in conflict. Look, I am a proud Ga, but I speak English with my beloved begotten son, Dyllan. Somehow, I’m replacing his mother tongue with English. Reason?
The schools he will attend instruct in English. And as he rises in education, all his lectures and notes will be in English. So naturally, the stronger his grasp of the language from the onset, the better his prospects of excelling all the way through.
Not my doing. That’s the nature of the society I came to meet. In this regard, I am somewhat not 100% with the GES decision that Ghanaian children should be instructed in local languages at the primary levels. One of my main concerns here is, what if Dyllan is only fluent in Ga, but his teachers’ “korle eyaa nshor min”[cannot speak Ga]?
READ ALSO: [Okyeame Kwame to blog on Ghanaweb! http://ghanagist.com/okyeame-kwame-to-blog-on-ghanaweb/#.UdguITs3uKI]
Besides, our local languages, for some unfortunate historical reasons, are intellect-anaemic. And that’s perpetuated by the fact that local language broadcasts on any network have been caged into mediocrity: agrarian and illiterate. On radio, the discourse stomps around a free-for-all political shout-fest, formalized gossips and the liberty to libel. On screen: witchcraft- infested movies, guaranteed scenes of stinking poverty; plus, oh yes!-more shout-fests!
The reason I won’t allow Okanta [Dyllan] to watch SNLV rated movies, is the same reason why I won’t allow him to watch such local movies. I’ve got my own rating scheme. Rated P, I or M… [Scenes of Poverty, Illiteracy or Mediocrity]. Not under my roof!
Left unmanaged, our entire socio-cultural environment is toxic. Inappropriate for any kid worth a future, to grow up in. A tangible near-future where the Ghana-raised child can sit elbow-to-elbow with a Chinese, Taiwanese, Swedish or Australian kid to decipher stuff on equal levels; and where [s]he is not at the receiving end…or exchanging raw exports for next to nothing that bears tangible fruits. Tell me the last time you heard any local language program critically discussing: computer hardware or software, space travel, the big bang theory, Nano technology, the age of dinosaurs, world trade, software writing, etc.
The bastardization of our ‘local’ languages is so scary that if Dyl one day brings a girlfriend home, who he says cannot speak a word in English, but speaks a local language fluently, we will surely question her level of education [if she’s had one at all], her intellect, upbringing, social status…we might even wonder if she’s ever seen a water closet.
Even if she speaks some English, but gets the grammar all disjointed, it still wouldn’t make a difference. We will ponder why after all we’ve invested into Dyl; he should end up with someone like that. But then, if she suddenly bursts into fluent French, German or Spanish, we will all go gaga on her. WHY? Again, that ain’t my doing. ‘I came to meet it’.
Fact is, the local language is not to blame. It’s the culture. There must be something wrong with our culture! A language is just a conduit of all that its mother culture entails. He that masters a language owns its culture.
Argue all you want, but if your kid masters a local language now, [s]he will be confined within the cultural boundaries of that language, along with all its attendant gains and limitations.
TO BE CONTINUED…