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Momodou



Denmark
8490 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  18:03:50  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message
Janko, one of your dreams is finally coming true.

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Gambia to introduce national language teaching in schools
By Lamin B. Darboe
Monday, October 18, 2010


Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Baboucarr Bouy, on Friday launched the National Language Teaching and Learning taskforce to spearhead the introduction of national languages in lower basic schools in the country.

The 42-member committee for Lower Basic Schools pilot project was officially launched at the conference hall of the Regional Education Centre in region one, Kanifing.

The Language Teaching and Learning in Schools will start in the next academic year 2011-2012. It is anticipated that by then the ministry will have been able to deploy trained teachers to schools to start teaching the languages.

In his launching statement, Mr Bouy said: "This language teaching and learning project has provided insights into the strategies that need to be adopted in order to effectively and successfully teach the said national languages in Lower Basic Schools. It is now time to move into the full implementation of the project."

He said the duty of the taskforce committee is to review and update/revise the existing orthographies of the five languages so that they reflect the way they are spoken and used in the country.

He added that there is scientific or empirical evidence that children who are fluent in their mother tongue do better when it comes to learning a second language and other intellectual skills.

He continued: "The reason for teaching these languages in Lower Basic Schools is that they are primary tools we use to get out of the many social, political, economic and developmental dilemmas The Gambia faces as a developing nation."

He said his ministry is alive to the challenges of teaching and learning of English language, especially in schools under the purview of the ministry.

PS Bouy finally paid tribute to the pioneering efforts of the people who developed the current orthographies primers and readers in the national languages #150; mainly in Mandinka, Fula and Wollof.

Source: The Point

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone

toubab1020



9007 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  19:34:10  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message
I told you Momodou that I bet many influential people in The Gambia rely on Bantaba in Cyberspace to bring forward new Ideas to the Gambia,many of which I doubt that could have thought of on their own

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 18 Oct 2010 19:35:06
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Sister Omega



United Kingdom
2085 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  21:06:26  Show Profile  Visit Sister Omega's Homepage Send Sister Omega a Private Message
True! Toubab, We have debated this issue comprehensively over the years. Alias Cyberspace never gets cited it always seems to be a Minister's brainwave.

Peace

Sister Omega

Peace
Sister Omega

Edited by - Sister Omega on 18 Oct 2010 21:08:17
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Momodou



Denmark
8490 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  21:18:24  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message
Many members of the Gambian cyber community have returned back from their studies during the years, so it should not be a big surprise if some issues that have been discussed are being implemented in the real world back home.

Anyway introducing national languages is a step in the right direction. It will definitely help children understand many things early.


A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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toubab1020



9007 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  21:32:05  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message
Sister, nothing at all strange there,but as long as we give good ideas here,who really cares ?,not me for sure.


"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 18 Oct 2010 21:32:59
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toubab1020



9007 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  21:39:06  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message
Momodou, don't deminish the power of bantaba in cyberspace here is the world of 2010 not the forgotten world of the start of the new millennium ten years ago in the year 2000


"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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Prince



507 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  21:47:10  Show Profile Send Prince a Private Message
A complete waste of time and limited resources. They should teach kids the basics of passing real-world exams, instead of creating more useless jobs....and bureaucracy.

The "scientific and empirical" evidence cited is pure pseudo-science crafted by broke-azz linguists, who busy themselves trying to save dying and irrelevant languages.

It is absolutely disgraceful that the ministry of education is now resorting to grouping kids by tribe at a very early age. I'd like to see how this nonsense would pan out in a place like Serekunda lower basic school.

It is sad to imagine the look on a five year old's face (and psyche) when he is told, "yo, this is a Fula class you can't stay here... go to class No.4, that is where your kind belong."

"When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty."
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Prince



507 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  21:55:21  Show Profile Send Prince a Private Message
Could someone please post the email address of the minsitry of education... their website is not working. The least one could do is send in an email highlighting the negative consequences of this policy and highlight the flaws of it's so-called potential benefits.

"When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty."
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toubab1020



9007 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  22:08:26  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message
"It is sad to imagine the look on a five year old's face (and psyche) when he is told, "yo, this is a Fula class you can't stay here... go to class No.4, that is where your kind belong."

Prince,I get your point,but I think that it is important to preserve heritage,In the UK for example The Welsh language is spoken and in use,In Scotland their native language is preserved,in other parts of the UK Liverpool ,Newcastle,Yorkshire,Lancashire and many other places local dialect influence is so strong as to make understanding it for the speakers of standard English unintelligable.
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Prince wrote:
"A complete waste of time and limited resources. They should teach kids the basics of passing real-world exams, instead of creating more useless jobs....and bureaucracy.

The "scientific and empirical" evidence cited is pure pseudo-science crafted by broke-azz linguists, who busy themselves trying to save dying and irrelevant languages."
----------------------------------------------------------------
I agree totally with your thoughts above, but to those who speak these languages ,in the UK and The Gambia ,it is their life and it would be wrong to label such languages as "dying and irrelevant languages." Just because your preference is elswhere.


"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 19 Oct 2010 00:41:23
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Sister Omega



United Kingdom
2085 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  22:28:27  Show Profile  Visit Sister Omega's Homepage Send Sister Omega a Private Message
I agree with you Momodou, This is definitely a positive step in the right direction for enriching National Languages, and these need to be underpinned by educational resources. After all languages only evolve if they are used. I'm glad that children will be getting the opportunity to begin their education in Mother tongue as they will excell quicker, and then learn other community languages, which they tend to do whilst mixing with other Ethnic Groups. Linguistics is important and one thing that Africans can pride themselves on is being multi-lingual which is a positive Key Skill.The more languages people can speak the wider the world becomes for them. I totally agree that Pupils who are educated in their own languages will perform much better learning a foreign language than those who aren't. African children have been taught from an early age to speak other languages within their neighbourhoods so its to their benefit to harness this key skill. It's beneficial for children to be introduced to foreign languages whilst they are young than when they're at Secondary School, which is the reason why first English Language Speakers find it difficult to learn other languages.

Peace

Sister Omega

Peace
Sister Omega
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Momodou



Denmark
8490 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  22:34:38  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message
Toubab, this is a quote from Gambia-L back in 1998.

----------------------------------------------

“English does not belong to the English; not anymore. Remove the words of Anglo-Saxon origin and see what will be left.”

“There are no primitive languages. The languages that we speak in the Gambia serve our purposes, and there is no reason why new words and concepts cannot be added. In fact, they are being added all the time. The fact that a language is not written does not make it inferior to a written one. Research findings by Malinowski and others support this view. The concepts I learned as a child and still continue to learn in African and other languages are still important to me. I have never stopped learning new concepts and techniques in African languages. It is sheer arrogance to suggest that anyone of us has mastered all the techniques, concepts and language tools to help us understand the world better using African languages.” M. Njie Fri, 11 Dec 1998 16:22:45 PST GAMBIA-L: The Gambia and Related Issues Mailing List <gambia-l@u.washington.edu>

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Sister Omega



United Kingdom
2085 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  22:52:42  Show Profile  Visit Sister Omega's Homepage Send Sister Omega a Private Message
Answer:Latin,Celtic,French, Spanish and African.

Peace

Sister Omega

Peace
Sister Omega
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turk



USA
3356 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  23:29:39  Show Profile  Visit turk's Homepage Send turk a Private Message
This is a tricky topic. There could be several arguments for different people. Here is the view when considering the language education of my daughter who is half Gambian. We have thought about teaching her Gambian (Fula/Wolof/Jola) languages, however, we decided on her learning Turkish, English and French as we thought her academic future would be in either Canada, Australia, USA or Turkey. We thought, learning Fula/Wolof/Jola would not help her academically. Obviously, this decision is not good for her accessing her African culture/heritage. For this we decided her to connect with her African side by spending at least a month in a year in her country with her relatives. Also, she will be encouraged to learn her culture via music, dance, history and other cultural classes. For her language education, to us, her academic/job future was more important. As English, French and Turkish have rich written literacy and many academic institutions, to us, Turkish/French/English was more important.

There is a similar debates in Turkey for Kurdish families. Some nationalist Kurdish want Kurdish language education as secondary which is a right for every Kurdish citizen. However, many of Kurdish families are actually against Kurdish Linguistic education for their children. They say, most/best academic institutions have Turkish language and most jobs would require Turkish so while Kurdish is important to them in terms of cultural identity, they would like their children to learn Turkish and as a second language English, Arabic, French, German and their preference for Kurdish is last. So many Kurdish families are not as enthusiast as some Kurdish nationalists about Kurdish education.

I wonder if I was a Gambian who live in Gambia, if I would want my children to learn local languages. The official language in Gambia is English. Higher education institutions have English language, Government jobs are English. If I go another country, I would not use any of the local languages. My child would be speaking in local languages, but English would be priority for me. There are limited books, literacy resources in local languages. So, if you just consider this, it does not make sense to learn local languages as much.

Considering limited financial resources of Education already, this would be additional cost to education budget while it is already problematic. Also, this may encourage the tribalism and division as well. Gambia can't afford multi-language education, that is even a extra cost for development countries. To me improving less than 50 percent literacy rate is more important priority.


diaspora! Too many Chiefs and Very Few Indians.

Halifa Salah: PDOIS is however realistic. It is fully aware that the Gambian voters are yet to reach a level of political consciousness that they rely on to vote on the basis of Principles, policies and programmes and practices.

Edited by - turk on 19 Oct 2010 00:35:36
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Sister Omega



United Kingdom
2085 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2010 :  00:42:33  Show Profile  Visit Sister Omega's Homepage Send Sister Omega a Private Message
As a parent of Gambian children I think it's important for them to learn national languages, be conversant in them, to be confident and to be proud of their Cultural Identity.

I also think it's to their benefit to proficient in English/or French for that matter. I think that it's important for them to enhance and develop their linguistical ability for this is important for the their future and for Nationhood building in general right across the continent; as linguistic ability is key skill in 21st Century. Coupled with the dessemination of the International Flow of Information. Therefore,I will be following this National Pilot Project with great interest.

As for English being the Official European Language in Gambia. Gambians can go for days without speaking a fluent English or French. Wolof is more widely used between different speakers than English. For example Gambians and Senegalese can communicate without speaking a European language and the same can be said amongst peoples of the sub region.

Do you really think that the Officials in Gambian High Commission speak English all day? Of course they can if they have to but they don't need too.

The use of National Languages is the way forward for Africa, and as seen in South Africa with Csoux, Sutu and Zulu: East Africa Swahili, DRC Lingala, Ethiopia- Amharic, Nigeria-Yoruba, Ibo, Hausa & Fulani. For example Fula is spoken in at least 17 countries from East to West Africa.

How many countries have Turkish and Kurdish spoken in as major National languages? Bearing in mind the geograhical boundaries that these languages cross. In comparison the African linguaphone is huge and coupled with that Africans also speak most of the European languages because Africans inhabit most of the countries in the world.

Africans will not and and should not be limited by a European prescription of what language they can or cannot speak. Why should African language be neglected for foreign languages? Will foreign language Speakers neglect their mother tongues to speak an African Languages? I doubt it very much!

Peace

Sister Omega

Peace
Sister Omega

Edited by - Sister Omega on 19 Oct 2010 01:16:18
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Prince



507 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2010 :  00:49:13  Show Profile Send Prince a Private Message
I wonder if I was a Gambian who live in Gambia, if I would want my children to learn local languages. The official language in Gambia is English. Higher education institutions have English language, Government jobs are English. If I go another country, I would not use any of the local languages. My child would be speaking in local languages, but English would be priority for me. There are limited books, literacy resources in local languages. So, if you just consider this, it does not make sense to learn local languages as much.

Considering limited financial resources of Education already, this would be additional cost to education budget while it is already problematic. Also, this may encourage the tribalism and division as well. Gambia can't afford multi-language education, that is even a extra cost for development countries.


LOL.... Turk finally woke up on the right side of his bed today... and he is speaking complete and clear sense!

Your daughter's case is quite unique and it is not usual to the average Gambian kid...most kids generally have a good grasp of our local languages. The local languages are not threaten and they are not at risk of alienation anytime soon. Contrary to that, the main Gambian struggle is communicating in English or other "business" languages.

Countries like Rwanda are struggling to get English teachers, so as to make their workforce more competitive. They are not spending millions on textbooks, computers (Microsoft word), and reconciling different regional dialects (standardization) on some purely emotional issue.
http://www.newvision.co.ug/detail.php?newsCategoryId=12&newsId=734694

I am not a great fan of French though; only France, some poor African countries and nationalist in Belgium, Canada, Switzerland... insist on speaking it. I use to study French but its bleak future led me to switch to Arabic in college. I am now more inclined to studying Spanish, started a class last month but I keep skipping lessons to argue on Bantaba

Anyways, can i steal some of your brilliant points for my letter to the ministry of education?

I'd hope they get over these nonsensical post-independence, pan-Africanist ideas of indoctrinating kids to narrow their world to a certain region. This local languages crusade is all EMOTIONAL, nothing about it is logical or practical for today's globalized world.


"When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty."
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toubab1020



9007 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2010 :  00:50:47  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message

Momodou,I understand your confusion,in one breath I am saying one thing and in another breath I am seen to be mixing things up,the wording that Prince used caused this I am afraid when he wrote"
The "scientific and empirical" evidence cited is pure pseudo-science crafted by broke-azz linguists," which are words of disapproval I suppose but I do not fully understand their meaning,I am in favour of retaing working languages,but not to hinder any integration that the Gambians who use them may be subjected to if they try to enter the world outside their homes.



quote:
Originally posted by Momodou

Toubab, this is a quote from Gambia-L back in 1998.

----------------------------------------------

“English does not belong to the English; not anymore. Remove the words of Anglo-Saxon origin and see what will be left.”

“There are no primitive languages. The languages that we speak in the Gambia serve our purposes, and there is no reason why new words and concepts cannot be added. In fact, they are being added all the time. The fact that a language is not written does not make it inferior to a written one. Research findings by Malinowski and others support this view. The concepts I learned as a child and still continue to learn in African and other languages are still important to me. I have never stopped learning new concepts and techniques in African languages. It is sheer arrogance to suggest that anyone of us has mastered all the techniques, concepts and language tools to help us understand the world better using African languages.” M. Njie Fri, 11 Dec 1998 16:22:45 PST GAMBIA-L: The Gambia and Related Issues Mailing List <gambia-l@u.washington.edu>


"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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