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|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 15 May 2021 : 08:04:44
By Mariama Marong on May 10, 2021
The University of the Gambia (UTG) on Thursday the 6th May, gathered stakeholders to validate national languages curriculum to be introduced in the university by next semester.
The validation event, which was held at the university campus at Kanifing, was initiated by the university and championed by the School of Arts and Sciences of the UTG.
Linguistics expects in Gambian languages demonstrated the value of local languages in the educational system as self-independence.
Professor Pierre Gomez, UTG Acting Vice Chancellor (Academies), described the validation as a turning point in the history of the university as linguistics expects longed for it.
“The university will lead the creation of Mandinka 101, Fula 101 and Wollof 101 etc. in the university curriculum and later expand linguistics in the school structures where people can write BA in local language in the Gambia,” he said.
Professor Gomez said students are taught in various foreign languages in the Gambia, but they are not taught in their national languages.
“Yet we called ourselves independent and what type of independence is that, when you speak your own national language without knowing how your language is structured,” he said.
He further said there is need to decolonize the curriculum as well as the mindset of people regrading national languages, so as to empower them to take the lead.
Dr Abdul Karim Kamara, Dean of School of Arts and Sciences, said his department initiated the teaching of national languages in the school for the advancement of education in the country. Dr Kamara, who is also the head of humanitarian and social sciences, said the national languages are fading away.
“If something is not done about it, it is going to have a negative impact on the generation to come,” he said.
He said the UTG should take the lead and rescue the national languages from dying, by preserving them before it’s too late.
“There might be challenges in the process and it will not be easy to adopt with the situation. But someone needs to take a start and that is what the university has done,” he said.
Sidia Jatta, lawmaker and linguistics specialist, said people, who do not language, have no identity. He described language as a fundamental factor that “defines who you are as a human being and it is rooted in culture.”
“Why are Africans teaching their children foreign languages even after colonialization and people still believed that is civilianization or modernization?” he asked.
Jatta said people are incapacitated in their own language because they don’t use the instruments that are fundamental due to the foreign languages that are rooted in the system of education.
“We have the means to survive in this country with dignity and without being slaves to anybody,” he said.
“Since independence to date, the country is totally with no development because the country doesn’t have the key to development. Your key to development is your language,” he said.
UTG Vice Chancellor, Professor. Faqir Mahammad Anjum, said the usage of Gambian languages will ensure equality and democratic participation of the people in the development of the country.
He said the poor performance of the pupils and students is largely associated with the lack of understanding of the language used in classrooms as a medium of instruction
He said the introduction of Gambian languages, as a general requirement, in the university system is a clear testimony of the commitment to the development of the country and which will pave way for the revival of Gambian cultures.
The Vice Chancellor noted that his institution is working on establishing a linguistics department which will give students the opportunity to explore Gambian languages in Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, and Semantic, all in a quest for the development of the country.
|3 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 17 May 2021 : 15:15:23
Letters: My long-held dream finally came true!
The Standard: MAY 17, 2021
The Gambia’s Point newspaper has reported that the University of The Gambia, on Thursday 6 May 2021, gathered stakeholders to validate the introduction of local languages in the school curriculum by next semester.
This piece of news is heart soothing and highly welcome, for I have been among the advocates for teaching and learning our native languages as a means of decolonization. Discovering one’s native language is the first step to free up one’s mind and soul. Understanding one’s native language is the bedrock for the education process upon which foreign languages are built.
We have incurred significant losses in education, socio-economic and political terms due to our collective failure to prioritize our native languages and incorporate them into our education curriculum. This point has been well articulated by the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Faqir Mahammad Anjum, who said: “ The usage of English language as the country’s official language is the losing ground in both educational system and the poor performance of the pupils and students are largely associated with the lack of understanding of the language used in classrooms as a medium of instruction.”
It’s unfathomable that students are punished in our schools for speaking their native languages in favour of the colonial language. It’s ironic that in The Gambia, students are taught various foreign languages, including Turkish, but no single indigenous language is taught or incorporated into the education system. That’s a shame. In the Gambia, MPs who are not fluent in English are barred from expressing themselves in their mother tongue. That’s a shame. In the Gambia, one’s level of education is measured per one’s fluency and competence in the English language. That’s a shame. After all, your language defines your culture and who you are and what you stand for because language and culture are inseparable entities. Africa has long battled with determining its identity among nations due to the relegation of its own languages and the abandonment of its indigenous cultures in exchange for the other.
Pierre Gomez, the acting Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs has revealed that “The university will lead the creation of Mandinka 101, Fula 101 and Wollof 101 etc. in the university curriculum and later expand linguistics in the school structures where people can write BA in local language in The Gambia.”
Honourable Sidia Jatta, a linguistics specialist and a leading advocate for native languages, said that the country had been denied being independent by the colonial masters for over centuries because people without language have no identity.
We must recognize the fact that each language has certain phonological, semantic, pragmatic and syntactic features. Our languages are no exception.
I would like to seize this opportunity to heartily congratulate the University of the Gambia and all the stakeholders for this bold step.
Basidia M Drammeh
||Posted - 16 May 2021 : 16:17:27
This has been a very long standing topic of Momodou's Bantaba in Cyberspace as you can see from the links posted previously,I cannot find any information publised by African reserchers BUT the BBC has found a Survey from 2020 that may well be a bit of a surprise for readers check the link below:
||Posted - 15 May 2021 : 14:00:21
|Bantaba in Cyberspace
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