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Ghana Institute of Languages gets new Director

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A new Director for Ghana Institute of Languages (GIL) was on Friday inducted into office at a twin ceremony, which saw the launching of GIL’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in Accra.

Dr John Rex Amuzu Gadzekpo, who until his appointment as Director of the Institute, was a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Studies in Humanities, University of Tras-os-Montese e Alto Douro in Vila Real, Portugal and responsible for  doctoral seminars of Luso-Afro-Brazilian Cultures component of the Centro de Estudos em Letras (CEL).

He was described in his profile as a widely travelled scholar and a multilingual person who could speak many languages including Ewe, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Dr Gadzekpo was a product of University of Ghana before furthering his educational pursuit outside the country and worked with several international universities, was an active translator, interpreter and had several scholarly papers, publications and awards to his credit.

Dr Mawuli Adjei, Board Chairman of the Institute administered the Oath of Office and decorated him with the official Robe as a Director.

In an address, Dr Gadzekpo indicated that the Institute had come a long way since its establishment in 1961 with the aim of helping to promote African unity through the teaching of non-Ghanaian languages.

He said GIL had over the years provided various advises to government on issues relating to language policy, a mandate which placed the Institute at a cultural interface, which implied the valorisation of African personality within a global context.

Dr Gadzekpo said their mandate therefore imposed on them a responsibility of complementing the task of cognate institutions dedicated to the teaching and promotion of African languages and culture.

He stressed that to meet its mandate in the contemporary world, the GIL would need a face-lift to help rise to a veritable tertiary institution that was of university status and anchor its relevance firmly on the national and international educational landscape.

However, Dr Gadzekpo expressed worry over the lack of a permanent site for the Institute after half a century of its existence, adding the Institute needed a fully constituted and functional main campus in Accra.

He noted that the Institute was in need of the injection of new human, material and statutory elements that were capable of putting it back on its feet, which could be done by improving the facilities creating new programmes and diversifying and expanding its resource base.

Dr Gadzekpo mentioned strategies such as reviewing, strengthening and streamlining of internal organisational structures of the Institute within an atmostphere of personal and professional advancement and discipline, congeniality and proactive outlook.

“Together with our national and international stakeholders, a new impetus is being given to extra-curricular and extra-mural programmes, especially language immersion programmes, while students welfare and involvement in the decision-making process of the Institute are receiving the appropriate attention through the orientation, encouragement and promotion of activities of the Student Representative Council (SRC),” he said.

Dr Gadzekpo announced that plans were far advanced to have the student body represented on the Management Committee and revitalise and rally round the Alumni Association, as well as former members of the academic and administrative staff, to enlist their support for logistics, advice and more importantly training and orienting in new language professionals.

The Director said the Institute would soon open new satellite units at Tema and Dansoman to cater for the needs of the eastern and western corridors, while the already existing East Legon and Adabraka campuses took care of the northern and southern corridors.

He said the Institute would also pursue within the 2011/2012 academic year, its expansion drive into Takoradi and Ho, in order to capture the emerging markets in these Regions.

Dr Gadzekpo appealed for funding and support from all and sundry to enable it secure a well-equipped campus to be able to operate properly within the original master plan of promoting foreign language education in Ghana.

The occasion also coincided with the matriculation of 842 fresh students and swearing-in of SRC Executives into office.

Ms Theodora Entsua-Mensah, a Board Member outlined events for the Golden Jubilee, including fund-raising, health walk, lectures, games, blood donation, a clean-up exercise at Ridge Hospital and a graduation ceremony.

She said the celebration would be climaxed with a thanksgiving service at Calvary Methodist  Church in Accra.

Source: GNA

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