Advocacy and civil society groups at Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, have for many years, been calling for the Education Ministry to make Gurenε, the language spoken by the people of Bolgatanga and surrounding areas, an examinable Ghanaian language.

The latest to add a voice to this call is a group known as Terabuuriyele, an association of people worldwide, who originate from the Frafra areas in the Upper East Region.

Presenting a petition to the Education Ministry through the Upper East Regional Minister, the group said; “Since 1992, the Gurenε language has been one of the Ghanaian Languages taught at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).”

It added: “In the year 2002, Gurenε found its roots at the Training Colleges especially the Gbewaa College of Education, Pusiga and the St. John Bosco’s College of Education, Navrongo. However, all efforts to make it an examinable Ghanaian Language in the first and second cycle institutions [the Junior High Schools and Senior High Schools] by WEAC, have proved futile.”

The petition went on to say: “…In all the two Municipals and thirteen districts of Upper East region, only the Kasem language is examinable by WAEC. However, Kasem is only spoken in the Kassena-Nankana Districts.”


The Upper East Regional Minister in an interaction with some representatives of the group

It said, “the Gurenε/Farefari language when spoken, is well-understood by people in the Bolgatanga Municipality and six other Districts in the Upper East Region, though there dialectical differences. The other Districts include; Bolgatanga East, Nabdam, Bongo and Talensi as well as the Kassena-Nankana East and West Districts.”

It noted that some students from all the Municipal and the six districts have gone to offer Gurenε as a course at the University of Education, Winneba and some have since graduated, indicating that there are favourable grounds for the Education Ministry to make Gurenε an examinable Ghanaian Language in the JHSs and SHSs.

Some executives of Terabuuriyele led by the National chairman, Martin Atua presented the petition to the Upper East Regional Minister at her office, to be forwarded to the Education Minister.

Receiving the petition on behalf of the Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Upper East Regional Minister, Paulina Patience Abayage said she was aware of similar calls, previously made by other groups in the region, including the BONABOTO and the Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NOPRA).

She said she could not immediately explain why the previous calls to make Gurenε an examinable Ghanaian language have not yet been heeded to but promised to forward Terabuuriyele’s petition to the office of the Education Minister in Accra, with the hope that something positive will come out of it.