Ghana's Education Have No Future If The Status Quo Remains.

Feature Article Ghana's Education Have No Future If The Status Quo Remains.
JAN 4, 2021 LISTEN

I'm not against any educational reform by any government at any time, but the I'm so sad that as a country we play with the lives and future of our beloved children. In fact, as a child growing up through primary education in the 1990s to University in beyound year 2000, Ghana's education from Basic to Tertiary was among the best educations in Africa if not among the world. But, the politics of education since 2004 has derailed quality that was attacked to our education.

I still remember in 2003 when I wrote BECE, the worst grades were around grade 30, and such students sometimes finds it difficult to get admission to secondary school. Today, the story is different. Getting grade 30 is probably a good grade even if not the best grade to get to any prestigious secondary school in the country. In 2018 and 2019 many secondary schools were recording best grades of between 25 and 35 in over 1000s of admissions with majority of students falling between grades 35 to 52. My own nephew prior to the 2020 BECE told me whether he learn or not, he was sure of getting secondary school placement referencing his 2019 seniors who scored grades 48 and 50 in the 2019 BECE and subsequently getting admissions.

Unfortunately, I have heard many matured educated Ghanaians some of which are government officials reiterating the need for every child to obtain a secondary education. Many of these speakers don't say anything about quality. Some have applauded that the introduction of free SHS was a panacea for the future development of Ghana and that, Junior High Students don't even need to be assessed before they are placed in Secondary schools.

Frankly speaking, I'm a promoter of child rights but what our policy makers probably failed to understand is whether the policy will meet the BEST INTEREST and WELFARE OF THE CHILD. These two are paramount in decisions making affecting children.

Personally, I think the kind of educational policies that Ghana is pursuing currently would have been perfect for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) & Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) education. Unfortunately, our educational system is dominated by theory and philosophy. This is why there is high mass unemployment after school. The question I ask is, "Of what benefit, if after school, the graduate cannot contribute to his nation"? Probably because, his certificate has no use and he or she has no skills?

Already, there is high number of highly educated citizens holding advanced degrees, yet has no jobs. If these unemployed graduates were trained through STEM or TVET, they would have been employers.

It would be very prudent moving forward as a country to remove political lenses from Ghana's educational system and allow only the technolocrats to do the job. For instance, since 2017/18 academic year, because of political interference, GES and University Administration has never been able to draw an academic plan for reopening and closing of schools. We all have to wait on either the Education Minister or the President to give us dates and timelines. This have resulted in serious academic interuptions, the situation is now compounded by COVID 19 pandemic.

We are in 2020/2021 academic year and schools are yet to reopen. Provisional Timetables have been released, but, frankly, it is not tasty for both teachers and students. The workload would be multiplied on both students and teachers. Yes, this is partly due to covid 19 pandemic, but the political interference in the planning of the educational period is also to be blamed. Former US President Barack Obama once adviced us, "Africa needs strong institutions not strong men". Yes! We have been caught in this statement. Our institutions not just education, but also other public institutions have been severely corrupted and reduced to nothing over the last few years. And until our politicians stop manipulating and mesmerizing public institutions and allow them the full freedom to work according to their legal and corporate mandates, we will forever suffer the consequences of weak institutions and the poor are those to suffer the most. For instance, during these long months of school closers, the rich politicians have their children in other countries where education is ongoing or probably hire a teacher to teach their children at home. Yet, the poor Ghanaian child is found loitering on the streets of towns, chasing lizards at the corner sides of the villages or disturbing their parents at work places. Even, as schools reopen with this proposed intermittent academic calender, the great impact will be felt by the poor and their wards.

As poor people, we must keep going. We have to continue to dig the hole until we are sure that no rat is left huntered or till our bones are fully exhausted and cannot continue further.

written by Abu Ibrahim Azebre

[email protected]