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11.12.2007 General News

Kwesi Jonah: Don't use education reforms to score political points

By The Statesman

Government has been urged to stop using educational reforms in scoring political points over their predecessors. A senior lecturer at the University of Ghana, Kwesi Jonah, made the call at the first speech and prize-giving day of Baidoe Bonsoe Secondary Technical School at Agona Nkwanta, capital of the Ahanta West district over the weekend.

He said he was unhappy about situations where successive governments in post-colonial Ghana have successfully turned the nation's educational system into "a political football kicked in different directions," adding that before one educational reform plan becomes consolidated and starts showing benefits, another one would have been introduced to supplant it.

"As a nation the time has come for us to resolve that education is too important to be turned into a Kotoko-Hearts of Oak football match", he remarked.

Professor Jonah recalled that unlike the colonial period where the Guggisberg Educational Reform of 1927 was implemented throughout the era, six educational reforms have been implemented within the fifty years of Ghana's independence.

He noted that less than ten years after the PNP reforms, the Rawlings-led PNDC government came up with its educational reform plan. "Exactly twenty years after the PNDC reform, the NPP government is also implementing another reform plan with a number of short-comings and constraints like inadequate intake of science and technology students at tertiary level".

Professor Jonah accused past and present governments of not giving sufficient attention to the educational needs of the country. In his view the country's needs are democracy and development.

He said education should be geared towards vocational training, development of science and technology, intellectual discipline and acquisition of knowledge, among others.

The Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Naana Biney, noted that the four year Senior High School Programme that has just commenced would require extra commitment from all parents.

This support, she said, would be in terms of supervision and the provision of logistics to facilitate the teaching and learning processes in schools.

Ms Biney expressed regret that the placement system that is currently in operation has made evident the fact that parents in Ahanta West do not appreciate Baidoe Bonsoe and therefore urged them to change their negative perception about the school.

The headmaster of the school, Joe Ocloo Nyamadi, earlier in a welcome address commended the NPP government for providing a number of facilities for the school which has now become a model in the district.

He said the academic performance of Baidoe Bonsoe Secondary Technical School which boasts of sixty-five staff and one thousand two hundred student population has improved tremendously over the years in spite of contraints.

The Statesman learnt that the Prize Giving Day was the first to be held by the school since its establishment seventeen years ago. It was under the theme 'The Importance of Education in today's world'.

By Yaaba Yamikeh

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