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Arabic in schools will not be compulsory – Gov’t

Government has said comments by the Chief of Staff that Arabic will be made an “examinable” subject in schools from next year have been misconstrued.

Mr Julius Debrah, whilst speaking at a campaign event at Nsawam Zongo in the Eastern Region said: “President Mahama has agreed that from 2017 senior high school students will have to study Arabic like they do in the English language and we will introduce it at the basic level in 2018 and make it examinable.”

This follows the re-introduction of the language as one of the elective subjects on the roster of the West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examinations.
But speaking with journalists, a presidential staffer, Emelia Arthur said: “The chief of staff did not use the word compulsory, he did not say that the government will make Arabic a compulsory subject.”
“The chief of staff said that government is considering making Arabic an examinable subject. An examinable subject, optional, not compulsory,” she said.

Nevertheless, the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has accused the governing NDC of plagiarising its policy on Arabic.

A likely decision to make Arabic compulsory is expected to cause a major uproar in Ghana.

Critics are likely to point out that most school children have difficulty speaking and reading Ghana’s local languages, which are not compulsory in most senior high schools.

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