In today’s’ fast developing world, how can we keep up with rapid changes in every sphere of the society? Is there a way out and onto the path that our educational system can become very great and effective? Yes! I’m more than hundred percent (100%) sure that if you and I can muster the courage and propel ourselves to make it become that great and effective.
Before we can progress, there are some attitudes, misconceptions and behaviors (…. crabology…) we use to fight our own progress and this must be dealt with so that we can find our way out and be on the right path of progress in making our educational system work!
One of these attitudes is the evil wall we build in the infancy stage of the school going children. This is what I call ethnocentric admonishments. Twi is an interesting language, Ewe is internationally recognized language, Fantse is a lovely and sweet language among others are some statements made by people for their personal reasons. This stirs up the ethnocentric difference in the children and hence the fight for national unity is a no go area. I really enjoy learning a word or language of other groups. Somebody can stay at a certain area for years and interact with them but will never learn their language and will have excuses but have you asked why this same person will go to abroad and in no time becomes so fluent in all those difficult foreign languages?
You will go to the schools and you will realize that Ga student will not study in a group with a northerner. Also, with the student politics, this candidate is my tribe man whether competent or not, I must vote him to become the SRC president and the effect? Is this different from religion?
I think the structures, teacher and the other stakeholders must help to uproot this in the infancy stage.
Moreover, there are some ‘vitamin pills’ that if we want unity, peace and stability should be inculcated in the school children and be made used by the citizens. These are;
- ‘Thank you’
- ‘Yes I know it’, ‘No, I don’t know’ or ‘I’m not sure’
- ‘Yes I will be there’, or ‘No, I can’t make it’
- ‘Yes I have it’ or ‘No, I don’t have it’
- ‘I’m sorry’
- ‘Forgive me’ and ‘I forgive you’
Second on the list is the misconception that ‘the white mans’ brain is different from the black mans’ brain’. From kindergarten up, we were told this statement. Do you believe that words can either create or destroy? Our continent is called ‘Dark continent’ and we respond ‘Yes Sir’, we have a low IQ, meaning genetically we are sub-standard or somehow sub-standard human and we say ‘Yes Sir’.
These words have made us to refuse to take action and so are needlessly slaves in our own country by having a slave educational system. We then conclude that our educational system can never make it because we are blacks and not whites.
But wait, some years back, GTV showed a Ghanaian scientist who had come home on holiday after a long time with the US space station, NASA. Also, if the former UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan and numerous could attain such heights, after going through our ‘chew and pour’ educational system, what would happen if the system were less ‘chew and pour’? we can also make it!
After toying with our education by politicians to this day, do we turn round and blame our skin colour and its giver (God) for our poor delivery in science, technology, business et al? or there is nothing wrong when we continue to import used clothes, matches toothpicks and the likes?
Yes, we can make our system to Invent and Manufacture!
Over the time, our educational system has been focused on the ‘what’ which is why after all the nice talking, we force our learners to ‘chew and pour’ and fail those who are not wired for such ‘robotics’
Even at the university, too many lectures can fail you if you fail to reproduce exactly what was given to you.
I believe against this background we can teach our children ‘how to catch fish’ by de-stigmatizing technical and vocational education, which is currently reserved for students who are deemed not to be academically bright. In line with this, we should let our children know that these ‘dream professionals’: – Doctors, Lawyers, Bankers, Accountants and Engineers are important but professionals such as Artists, Designers, Plumbers, Technicians, Masons are also honorable people we cannot do without.
Also, by de-stigmatizing Polytechnic education through rewarding its products according to the problems they solve, not just according to their paper qualification.
Moreover, steps should be taken to include practical work in science and ICT as well as project work for assessment at the basic level. I wonder how students get grade 1 in these two subjects without even seeing computer or IT devices and science laboratory equipment needed for the practical but yet they pass with distinction.
The crabology……: – the natural problem solvers, innovators, and inventors are mostly slow and sluggish in nature, which makes them normally vulnerable to be ‘bull-dozed over’ in a ‘chew and pour’ educational system. This leads to the ‘Automatic Dropout System’ (ADS) because of their nature and hence we murder their initiative, talents and skills inherent in them. Our system buries people with such talents alive.
The danger is that our system as it stands, kills people’s initiative and buries their talent and that our society has come to accept such an abnormality as normal.
Another crabology is the ‘Pull-Him-Down’ (PHD) in disciplining our children. Are we so ‘modern’ that to correct your children, you use mere words only? The children in the educational setting are indiscipline because we are so ‘modern’ to discipline them. Then is this not a way we apply PHD on our own children? It is the same ‘chew and pour’ products without discipline that will become the key stakeholders of the educational system: – Teachers, Heads of schools, Directors of education, Ministers of Education and the rest who practice ‘me-baaye-akye’(MBA), and I call it garbage-in-garbage-out (GIGO).
Again, there are brilliant children with talents but have limited sources to resources, of which I was a victim. Such people live silently and sadly among us, some drop out of school, yet no one recognizes them, helps or at least encourages them. Sadly, the drop and die with their talents and initiatives, another PHD?
In conclusion, I believe our educational system can work and function effectively to benefit the society if you and I stand for the right thing to be done. True knowledge and skills and attitudes can be constructed and imparted for the betterment our mother Ghana.
Where from this true knowledge? It is founded on the fear of God (Prov 1:7). If a strong and foundation is built for our children at that early stage, our system will function effectively and Christ is the only foundation (1 Cor 3:11).
Wornyoh, E.Y., (2013), Yes! we also can become very great!, step publishers, Accra, Ghana.