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27.04.2007 Editorial

The Education Jamboree

By Ghana Palaver
Perhaps, some people have very good reasons for supporting, whole-heartedly, the new Education Reform Programme.
Perhaps, some are simply enthused about names such as, Senior High Schools and Junior High Schools, used in some foreign counties.
We, for example, will be quite delighted, just for the fun of it, to find some schools re-named, for example, as Accra High High School, or Wesley Girls High High School.
But, are we a nation, which must only be happy to make changes, just to mark the tenure of a particular regime or what?
For, even in the case of the second-cycle institutions, which are now running three-year courses, we do know that, some students do have to fly in and out of their desks, through windows, due to the congestion in their classrooms, in some schools.
We do also know how, due to lack of space in dormitories, students in some schools do run rotation, from floor to bed, in turns, due to the same conditions in the boarding houses.
Some sleep on verandas of some tutors, as the only option and not as a matter of choice.
Since the new reforms will create "rooms" for an extra one-year class, we wonder what will happen in schools, already over-stretched with their accommodation problems, both in the classrooms and the dormitories.
Indeed, our worry deepens, the more, when we think of the dangers facing our female students, some of whom will be forced to take up residences, wherever they may find one.
It is with these problems in mind that we find it most surprising, that the Vice-Chancellors of our Universities, could troop down to the Castle, Osu, just to give the "V" sign to President J.A. Kufuor, for outdooring his reform plans.
Prior to that, the General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) had given her blessing to the plan.
These antics do not excite us in any way.
For we do recall how the "University Lords", for example, kicked hard against the reduction of the four-year course in the second-cycle institutions to three years, as well as the abolition of the sixth-form system.
Initially, we were told the direct entry to the university would prove a disaster. And, all kinds of tricks were employed to justify the earlier protests.
Perhaps, they were right.
But, may we know whether all those, who have been scoring first-class in their various disciplines, in recent times, have been benefiting from underserved favours?
Are we to take it that the graduates from our Universities, especially in recent times, are half-baked or are simply extra-ordinary students?
Well, since the "Master" has spoken, his servants will do his bidding.
But, let's not rush into deeper waters, when, even at waist level, we cannot stand on our feet.
Otherwise, we shall one day wake up to find our second cycle institutions, renamed "Highest High Schools", which in practice, will mean nothing, but a mere waste of time and stationery!

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