Dagbani is a very beautiful language spoken by Dagombas who have one of the richest cultures in Ghana, yet the majority of the people perhaps due to illiteracy place less value on the language. This has been the case for centuries therefore any attempt to change that overnight is a failed effort. This had adversely affected the education and development of the people greatly. The education system in the past and now helps very little to reverse this phenomenon.

The need for strategic advocacy using all the means and agents reasonable is very imperative. LDP therefore embarked and continues to embark on avenues and strategies to change the status quo.

Several activities have been done to change attitudes, behaviors, long-held beliefs, and practices that have not assisted in any way to accelerate Mother Tongue Education in Dagbon. Some of which include but not limited to the following:

Formation and coordination of CAGs (community advocacy groups)

LDP facilitated the formation of twenty community advocacy groups, one group in each community, each group comprising of five members, three men and two women chosen by the communities for the communities. The community chose these people based on their integrity, influence and passion for development for the villages.

LDP throughout the 4-year existence of the project provided training occasionally to make them relevant in the field of advocacy to achieve the desired impact. They up until now remain the agents of change and the loud voices for development in the communities.

They have educated parents, children, chiefs etc on the essence of the mother tongue education using platforms such as community durbars, PA meetings, Congregational Prayers in Mosques and Churches, Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Chieftaincy installations to mention just a few. They have been the watchdogs for education ensuring that education duty bearers execute their obligations for the progress of education.

They mobilize community members to contribute money to carry out maintenance works in schools, preach the sermon of parents prioritizing the buying of basic stationery and Dagbani reading books as well as petitions District Assemblies, GES as well as other organizations to provide essential needs for schools and pupils.

They have left indelible marks in the 2 and 4 years in Tolon and Kumbungu respectively. They have influenced the purchase of basic school needs by parents, mobilized resources from among parents and abled people in the communities to build temporary structures as classrooms, bought and maintained chairs for pupils, protected school lands from encroachment, visited schools weekly to check on teacher and pupils’ presence, wrote petitions to Assembly and GES. made follow-ups to such petitions and a whole lot.

Engagement with Members of Parliament

Policy is very critical in education. Formulating the right policy is one, implementing, another! The language policy of Ghana stipulates that the Mother Tongue of the pupil must be the medium of instruction from Kindergarten to Primary 3, also, the new curriculum for basic school recommends the teaching of L1 to set as a foundation for advance learning, meanwhile, little is done by Government to enforce this nor even provide the needed resources to implement it.

LDP felt the need to influence Mother Tongue Education at the very point of policy making and implementation. The House of Parliament of Ghana is mandated by the constitution of Ghana to enact laws and formulate policies that address various issues of development from health to education and many other important aspects of lives of the citizenry.

LDP therefore sent a two-member delegation to Parliament, they met the Dagomba MPs representing the 16 constituencies of Norther Region where Dagbani is the most widely understood and spoken language. The delegation placed before these MPs the startling revelations of how terrible the performance of Dagomba children in literacy. Not only did they presented the issues of education but more importantly the sustainable solutions to addressing them. The honorable members pledged to develop a working document to make a case on floor of parliament for Mother Tongue education as well as short to medium term strategies to addressing this regrettable education situation among the many school going children in Dagbon.

The engagement with Members of Parliament was also graced by the Chief of Pishigu – Dr. Alhassan Andani who represented Dagbon Traditional Council and N DAN YAA NAA for that matter.

Public Forum

Public Forum that was evented to engage with actors in the Dagbani Literacy Space. Some of these actors are partners; others being potential partners in the near future to assist in the Mother Tongue drive and movement that influence better attitudes by parents and stakeholders for collective good of the communities especially in education.

Dagbani Teachers Association, Dagbani Wikimedia User Group, Afrikids, University for Development Studies, Dagombas on Facebook etc are some of the various professional and social groups and institutions which participated in the Public Forum.

Lecture for Lecturers

Teaching reading remains a nightmare to many teachers in the classroom. The non-provision of teaching and learning materials by Central Government is a great enemy to the education of our kids, however, the inability and the disinterestedness of many teachers to handle reading of Dagbani Literature is equally a great setback. With a very simple approach or methodology, basic 2 or 3 pupils can learn how to read within a year or two.

For this reason, a lecture was done by LDP to lecturers at Tamale College of Education on Mother Tongue Education. As a result, the College resolved to formulate a module on teaching reading to be inculcated into their short courses. This would better build the capacity of student trainees to confidently and competently teach reading in our various primary schools especially the lower basic.


The success of Mother Tongue Education hinges also on the quality and quantity of teachers churned out from the Colleges of Education and Universities in the country into our basic schools. A lot is needed to well equip teacher trainees to be able to handle Ghanaian Language (Dagbani) as a language of learning in the basic schools and if this is sloppily done can have long term consequences on the learning of pupils the basic and later education pursuits.

LDP organized a symposium amongst final year students of TACE (Tamale College of Education) which served as a litmus to what they know and what to tackle deeply in our subsequent engagements with trainees. It was an overwhelming turnout of over 200 participants. A lot was shared between trainees and LDP facilitators.

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