Home Editorial Quayson Writes : Economic Development and a Common Language

Quayson Writes : Economic Development and a Common Language


After God destroyed the whole earth with flood, God used the families of the sons of Noah to divide the nations of the earth. These sons were Shem, Ham and Japheth and in those days the whole earth were one people and they spoke one language.

Genesis Chapter 11

Verse 1 : And the whole earth was one language and one speech.

Verse 3 : And they said, go let us build us a city and a tower whose top will reach the heaven; and let us make a name, lest we be scattered upon the face of the whole earth.

Verse 4 : And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the children of men have builded.

Verse 5 : And the Lord said behold this people are one and they have one language: and this is what they begin to do : and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

Verse 6 : Go to let us confound their language that they understand not each other’s speech.

If you read further, you will realise that God actually went to confound their language and they could not understand each other so they could not continue with their projects of building the city and the great tower. After they spread accross the face of the Earth in different languages and that is how come we have so many languages in the earth today. It is God himself that did that because he realised what the children of men can achieve if they speak one language and understand each other.

It is no coincedence that nations all over the world that have developed massively use predominantly one language in every sphere of their lives be it in business, politics, home, on the street, in cabs, markets, media etc. You only hear just one language in that country. If there are other languages there, then it is foreigners who speak their language in that country.

There is no single bonafide American or British that cannot speak English. There is no single French that does not speak French. There is no single Spanish that does not speak Spanish. There is no single Danish that does not speak Dutch. All inhabitants of various Scandinavian countries speak Scandinavian language. In Portugal they speak Portuguese language, in Greece they speak greek, in Italy they speak Italian, in Switzerland they speak Swiss etc. All these countries I have mentioned are noted for great economic development and great historical and political history. China apart from their great population of 1.2 billion people also speak a common Chinese language. The case is the same in Japan, Germany, North and South Korea, Russia, UAE, India etc.

Now let’s come to our Homeland Ghana, in my earlier days in school I was taught that Ghana has about 42 written languages but over 60 languages in all. Now take all the African countries and do a statistics of the number of languages in that country. Take Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Togo, Mali, Kenya, Namibia, etc. You will realize why we are not developing. It is because of language barrier and the issue of diverse culture and tribalism.

You can see from this inference that there is a relationship between an economic progress and language, something that no one is paying attention to but it is real. It is a sad reality. Information looses it’s originality once interpreted and people process and intepret information they get based on some many factors including, education, exposure, traditions and culture, gender etc. It is therefore not easy to get the masses to move along with you when you have so many languages to interpret a vision into. Every tribe will digest the information differently and see things from a different perspective thereby retarding progress.

There is the need for us to have one central language that everyone must speak and understand which must be taught in all schools. It boils down to education. To get Ghana moving forward, everyone must be educated in a generally accepted language. The language English has done great for Ghana but we need alot of people to go to school, to speak and to write it. With this government will be able to communicate for people to understand the vision of government and follow it.

Education must not be optional but compulsory for every Ghanaian citizen at least up to SHS level before they can decide to embark on other trade or profession. This has to be coupled with punitive measures once anyone refuses to comply as was done before in Ghana.Once we get a common grounds for the masses to read and write, development becomes much easier. I commend the NPP government for the free education policy but the government must put structures in place to get more people into the classroom not just making it free. Sometimes it’s not just about giving people choices to attend school but you need to force them.

Adult education must also be made free and compulsory around the country to get the ederly into classrooms at least twice every week with supported structures. Yes our fathers and mothers must also be educated to at least speak English so they can have understanding of government vision and global issues.

It really doesn’t matter which language we choose to educate all and sundry in so long us everyone can speak it. It makes development easier in every nation and God even knows that.

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