MPs encourage everyday usage of the Mother Tongues

Parliamentarians yesterday called on the Ghanaian populace to eschew every desire to force Ghanaian children to speak only one Ghanaian language and encourage children to speak their own mother tongue. Collectively, the legislators agree that have one’s child speaking impeccable English and unable to speak any Ghanaian language is not anything to be proud of.

 

This discussion opened when the member of Ketu South Abla Dzifa Gomashie read statement to commemorate the International Mother Tongue Day which fell on 22nd February 2022 to the House.  

Mamaga Abla Dzifa Gomashie, who chairs the Ewe Commission of the Africa Academy of Languages, laments the situation where parents use English to train their children even at home. “to ask a child just basic questions in his/her mother tongue with the child not being able to answer. Mr. Speaker, should we watch as a generation of Ghanaians lose not just their identity but also their culture, traditional values, and collective memory?” She asks.

 

Dr. Augustine Tawiah, MP for Bia West, observed that it is unfortunate that colonialism has altered our cultures  and as a people we have ourselves added to our woes by despising what is truly ours. He suggested a continuous research to ensure that our mother tongue is key for us to reduce the gap between what is indigenous to the Ghanian and what is foreign and being incorporated. “We don’t want to incorporate everything wholesale. Our language should accommodate other nuances from other cultures but how do we do this in such a way that we can incorporate them even in our educational system.”

 

MP for Sawla Tuna Kalba Andrew Dari Chiwitey charged members and all Ghanaians, especially people from his constituency, to speak their local languages with their children at home. “It has become a form of pride for some people to think that once I speak English to my child that tells the class I belong to. Mr. Speaker it is completely wrong.  It is time for us to start educating our families. It is time for us to start letting out people know that where we come from, that is where we come from. We didn’t  choose… and so wherever you find yourself let your identity be know.” he appealed to the house.

 

Kwadaso MP Kingsley Nyarko’s believes in using the local language as tool to facilitate easy learning in schools but expressed concerns about the quality, frequency and intensity of the language usage.

 

Many other members including Samuel Okudzeto of South Tongu, Nelson Dafeamekpor of South Dayi, Moses Anim of Trobu, Kofi Adam of Buem, among others hold the belief that knowing one’s native language well, is a foundation to learn other languages and appreciate what is being taught in school and so agree that the Ghanaian languages must be taught in the basic schools. However, in the spirit of oneness they said that our diversity is our strength in unity.

 

Language is a very important tool for sustainable development. It ensures cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, strengthens cooperation and achieves quality education for all. Mamaga who herself speaks many Ghanaian languages urged her colleagues and stakeholders “to develop a clear and effective school policy to enhance the understanding of children in our schools”.

 

Mother Language Day, highlights multilingualism to ensure inclusiveness in development agendas in accordance with SDG 4.6, which seeks to ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, achieve literacy and numeracy.”

 

This years’ celebration was themed “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities”.

‘I did not give permission to Adwoa Safo to be absent from Parliament’ -Speaker Bagbin

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin has refuted media reports that he permitted the MP for Dome Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo to be absent from the house on health grounds. He said this on Thursday’s parliamentary sitting and urged the public to ignore such false news.   
 

 

 

The speaker indicated, “It’s important I diffuse some fake news, which is being circulated that I granted an interview to say that Adwoa Safo received permission from me to absent herself from Parliament on health grounds. I want it to be known by all, that I have not granted any such interview anywhere. I’ve not said anything like that anywhere.”
“And the votes and proceedings of the House are so loud that if she’s absent without permission for all those days, that’s on the votes and proceedings of the House.”
 

 

 

According to him, parliament has its own processes of determining whether an MP is present or absent and this not in his power.
 
“It’s not the Speaker who determines who is present and who is absent. No. The votes and proceedings will capture those who’re present, those who’re absent and those who’re absent with permission” he explained.
 

 

The Rt. Hon. Speaker indicated he is eager to address the issue of MPs absenteeism in later sittings.
 
And that’s why I don’t want to delay in letting the world know that I have not said any such thing anywhere. Please. And tomorrow, I’m going to address the issue of absentee MPs very very clearly for everybody to understand.” Alban Bagbin added.

 

 

Adwoa Safo has been absent in Parliament for some time now. This has led her being accused by some of her colleague MPs, of deliberately attempting to sabotage the majority in parliament.

Gov’t may not be able to pay salaries in the next 3 months – Speaker Bagbin

The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon Alban Bagbin has predicted that government may not be able  honor some financial obligations including payment of salaries of public sector workers in the next three months if necessary steps are not taken.
 
For this, public sectors may have to ready themselves to experience further financial burdens than they already are experiencing.

 

 “This is not to discourage the committee from doing their work. If something is not done within the next three months, the government may not be able to even pay salaries,” he said.

 

 

This was disclosed to Members on the floor on Thursday, February 24, 2022.

 

Mr. Speaker, however, did not give reasons behind his forecast and did not explain further information he said was at his disposal.

Parliamentary Updates: CSWA to take over mg’t of Community Water Systems

Minster for Sanitation and Water Resources Mrs. Cecilia Abena Dapaah says she is aware of malpractices going on in the management of community water systems in some communities across the country. She said to address that problem, plans are underway for Community Water and Sanitation Agency to take over and be directly responsible for water systems.  
Some of the communities, according to her, fail to pay for power that they use to pump water for use.

 

 

 

The minister made these remarks when she was answering question posed to her by Akatsi North MP Peter Nortsu Kotoe who sought to know if there are immediate plans for expansion to ensure the community gets water regularly.

 

 

 

She answered that the ministry recognizes the need to improve the water and sanitation in Ave Dakpa, which has attained district capital status.
“That government through the Community Water and Sanitation Agency is preparing to take over the water supply system to rehabilitate, expand and manage same in order to meet the water demand of the people.”

 

 

 

Mr. Peter Nortsu Kotoe reported that power supply to the water system was cut because the community owed ECG an amount of GHC13, 832 that accumulated during the free water for COVID. He paid that amount in January for power to be restored for the water system to run. That notwithstanding, the system had developed faults and individuals in the community also donated monies to fix it.

 

 

 

He noted that the district assembly taking over the management of the water system is worse than when the community itself was managing it and indulged the minister to conduct an investigation into the mismanagement of the Ave Dakpa water system by the district assembly.

 

 

 

The minister said it is due the mismanagement by the community and the district assembly that the CWSA will be assigned to take over the management of community water systems across the nation.

Parliamentary Updates: “You make me sick” – Speaker Bagbin to MPs

You make me sick – Speaker Bagbin to MPs

 

Speaker Bagbin has called on the Marshall Department to be on standby because he will be “compelled to get people arrested and sent out” for putting up indiscipline behaviors on the floor of the house. The Rt. Hon. Speaker Alban Bagbin is bent on restoring discipline and positive reputation of parliament.

 

 

 

He was nauseated at the chitchat, loitering about and seeming lack of readiness of some members while business had taken off in the House.
“There is no parliament that I know when the speaker is talking members of parliament are also talking. Speakers are heard in silence for good reason. What is happening in this parliament is completely unacceptable.” He tells the house.

 

 

 

Appalled by consistent indiscipline behavior that some members display on the floor, Mr. Speaker cries, “I am not sure you have appreciation of the temperature of the country. Neither am I sure you know the arduous nature of the responsibility that is placed on your shoulders.”
 

 

 

 Furious that as he was addressing the issue of disruptive behavior, some members were still misbehaving, the speaker charged a member to “shut up!” He said “As I’m talking the same thing happening.  The Marshall department, get ready. I will be compelled to get people arrested and sent out. You make me sick.”

 

 

 

He further cautioned parliamentarians to change from misconducting themselves and to accept the decision of the people and work together because Parliament is for serious national business and not a place for joking.
“The parliament we are in has never been in Ghana, even gold coast. This is a different type of parliament.”

Political interferences responsible for chieftaincy disputes – Dr. Zanetor Rawlings

 
MP for Klottey Korley Dr. Zanetor Rawlings told parliament that the best way to honor the legacy of Nana Wiafe Akenteng III, Omanhehe of Offinso Traditional area, it is important to allow the chieftaincy system function without the incessant political interferences in playing its complementary role to Ghana’s governance system. She made this statement on the floor of parliament when members took turns to eulogize the late chief on Thursday.

 

 

She held the opinion that chiefs and traditional leaders should be able to work with the level of integrity that will allow them serve as a check on the government and be able to raise issues regarding their people’s plights without necessarily being viewed as partisan in spite of whatever their allegiances will be.
 

She observed that the many chieftaincy disputes and unrests, which have engulfed the various traditional areas in the country, are mostly because of unnecessary political interferences.   “As we look across the various traditional areas of which mine is not exempt the repeated political interferences within the chieftaincy is causing a lot of disunity and unrests.” Dr. Rawlings opined.

 

 

The constitution recognizes the chieftaincy system and a ministry dedicated to oversee it. This according to Zanetor points to the fact that the chieftaincy system is not a ceremonial institution. “It is still very much alive and a part of our culture and tradition. On this occasion as we celebrate the life and legacy of such a chief, we must be reminded of the importance of a non-interference of politicians in the chieftaincy system.” She reiterated.

 

 

Nana Wiafe Akenteng III, Omanhehe of Offinso Traditional area, died on October 2, 2021.
Up