Ghana has joined Nigeria in challenging the need for an English Proficiency Test as part of the requirements for prospective Ghanaian students to gain entry into the UK or US for further studies or work.
The second deputy speaker of parliament, Andrew Amoako Asiamah directed the Education and Foreign Affairs committees to investigate circumstances under which Ghanaians are required to provide proof of English proficiency before gaining admission into foreign universities.
This directive came after members of the house expressed concerns about the issue.
Member of Parliament for South Dayi constituency, Rockson–Nelson Dafeamekpor in his statement argued that as a member of the Commonwealth and English is Ghana’s official language, no student could progress beyond Junior High School without a pass in English language.
This issue is not new especially on Social media but now seems to be gaining a lot of traction.
Last year, the story of a Nigerian man, who wrote the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam five times before relocating to Canada, went viral on Social media.
This is just one of many youths across Africa who go through this experience with some who never get the opportunity to achieve their dreams of pursuing further studies abroad.
The UK home office in their response to the petition, which was signed by over 50000 Nigerians said “to be included on the majority English speaking country list, we must have evidence that most people in the country (more than half) speak English as a first language.”
A request by Ebenezar Wikina, founder of Policy Shapers, an open-source policy platform for the removal of the requirement came back with the same response.
The response indicated that there are at least 27 English-speaking countries on the continent that do not meet that threshold.
If this is a mandatory requirement by the UK government, then what about Universities in the UK that do not make IELTS a compulsory requirement.
However, does one's inability to pass the International English Language Testing System enough to determine the English proficiency of a candidate.
A win for Ghana’s parliament on this case will definitely be a win for Nigeria and other Anglophone countries. It is however not clear the strategy Ghana’s parliament intends to use in pursuing this case after its investigations.