Teaching French in Ghana
French is currently the only foreign language taught in the public primary and secondary schools. The educative language policy is based on the White paper of the government (Education Act 778) of 2008 which recommends that French is:
- Taught compulsorily in the junior high schools when a teacher is available. In fact it is the principals of the institutions who decide whether or not French is taught where as 10% of the pupils choose to write French during the BECE (Basic Education Certificate Examination) at the end of their junior high school education;
- Proposed as an option in the senior high school in all six existing courses. In reality, the majority of students offering French are students who offer literature related courses (“General Arts”), sometimes other courses such as (business, home economics, visual arts, agriculture) but the sciences never! Over the years, between 1.8% and 6% of these students choose French as an option during the WASSCE (West African Senior School Certificate Examination).
Initial training of French teachers
- With regard to junior high school education, teachers are trained for 3 years in the Colleges of Education (equivalent to ESPE) but the few hours allocated for practical work does not allow them to obtain a really good level;
- Regarding senior high school education: They should be degree holders “Bachelor of Arts” in French (4 to 5 years of university education including a 1 year language immersion programme in a francophone country).
Support from the French Embassy and Institut Français in Ghana
SCAC works in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education to propose:
- On one hand, an education of the best quality, which is more communicative and attractive by supporting continuous teacher training projects (teaching and language improvement workshops, taken in the classes), creating teaching materials and organising recreational activities (competitions, cultural events, etc.).
- On the other hand, by financing useful equipment for the proper functioning of the 10 CREF regions (Regional Centre for teaching French) across the country: computers, projectors, books, magazines, etc.;
- Finally, by contributing to the image of French in the educational system.
Study French as a specialization
Four public universities are equipped with French departments or sections which train specialists in our language at the degree level (Bachelor of Arts 4 or 5 years), Master (MPhil: 2 years) and Doctorate (PhD: 3 years and more):
- University of Ghana, Legon (Accra)
- Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi
- University of Cape Coast
- University of Education Winneba
The French departments offer specialisations in Literature, Linguistics, Translation, Teaching FLE and sometimes FOS.
They are also requested to teach French courses at other Faculties (Business, Sciences etc.).
Study French as a “non-specialist”
Three scientific and technical public universities have created French sections with the aim of training professional or competent bilinguals in French:
- University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa
- University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani
- University of Development Studies on 3 campuses (Tamale, Wa, Navrongo)
Their teams are dynamic and the teachers are trained in professional French in order to respond to the needs of their students.
The demand for French in the technical scientific and technical institutions is increasing, with regard to changes in the job market in a regional francophone context.
Some private universities also offer French courses, often in their business courses (Business and Finance).
In addition to their studies, the students meet regularly to organise activities within the framework of the French club and also have the opportunity to practise the French language.
Support from the Embassy and Institut Français
SCAC supports universities with regard to continuous training of teachers (FLE methodology and teaching techniques, FOS) deliberating on teaching programmes and the status of French as well as offering prompt material support (donating ICT equipment, books, textbooks, etc.).
Scholarships are offered to students at the Masters and Doctorate levels and some teachers receive teaching internships in France.
However, Institut Français organises French Competitions during the Francophonie festival (2 categories: specialists and non-specialists) with a visit to France as a price.
Finally, two universities host students at their Maison Français offices (UG Legon and KNUST) with two French directors and one who is on a teaching assignment at University of Ghana. Maison Français as well as SCAC, bring Ghanaian universities closer to French and African Francophone Universities.
Public and Parapublic Institutions
These institutions wish that their civil servants develop their proficiency in French to better respond to the demands of their duty or in the area of career change; many Ghanaian public institutions propose internal French lessons:
- Parliament of Ghana
- Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority
- Ghana Immigration Service
- Volta River Authority
- Ghana Institute of Journalism
- Environment Protection Agency
- Ghana Institute of Management and Administration (GIMPA) with 4 campuses: Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Tamale
- Korle Bu Hospital Nusery and Midwifery College
Support from the Embassy and Institut Français
SCAC supports these institutions with regard to the continuous training of teachers, particularly in the area of FOS, deliberating on programmes and teaching resources in order to better meet the needs and constraints of the public, as well as offering prompt material support (donating ICT equipment, books, textbooks, etc.)/
With regard to the local laws associations, the reputation of the Alliance Française schools in Ghana as well as all over the world is well established. The 5 Alliance Française schools in Ghana (Accra, Kumasi, Tema, Takoradi, Cape Coast) offer general, professional, group or individual French lessons at the school premises or at workplaces.
They are also examination centres for the DELF-DALF and TCF certificates.
Ghana Institute Languages
It is an independent Ghanaian public institution. GIL offers courses in different international languages including French, within three years.
Small private schools which are often established from personal initiative also provide French lessons of different quality.