The Dark Hours Of Ghana’s Education: Geography Lawyer Writes…
When talking about education people often confuse it with schooling. Many think of places like schools or colleges when seeing or hearing the word. They might also look to particular jobs like teacher or tutor.
The problem with this is that while looking to help people learn, the way a lot of schools and teachers operate is not necessarily something we can properly call education. They have chosen or fallen or been pushed into “schooling”-: thus trying to drill learning into according to some plan often drawn up by others (politicians).
Education in Ghana nowadays is like banking where people make deposits of knowledge and the end profit is treating students like objects, things to be acted upon rather than people to be related to.
It is often said that for a country to rapidly develops, education for its citizens must be a priority. It sound truthful because if citizens are enlightens, they tend to understand their country’s governance process, live in harmony with their neighbors and contribute effectively their quota to the development of their country.
In the other hand, can education of any kind leads to positive development of a country? Let’s think of quantitative and qualitative here…
Ghana’s education over the years has being the ‘daily bread’ for politicians, intellectuals, economist, educationist, media outlets and ordinary Ghanaians for several reasons- both positive and negative. Ghana’s education, which logically should have been on a neutral standing, has all of the sudden turned into a ‘political game field’. A political game field where quantity education has over scored quality education, a game field where premature policies are being forcefully implemented, a political game field where winning the next elections determines what policy should be implemented, a game field where experts (educationist) in that field and final implementers of the curriculum (teachers, lecturers etc..) views are dumped into a dustbin and a political game field where ‘ORDER FROM ABOVE’ is the regulator of school administrators.
If for nothing at all, Ghanaians have the following political brouhaha at their finger tips: the construction of 200 community day senior high schools across the country, the progressive introduction of free senior high school, the construction of new universities and upgrading technical schools to technical universities, the expansion and upgrading of training colleges to universities, the riddance of trainees allowances, among other educational policies by national democratic congress (NDC) government.
Not only the above stated policies, but the sudden and invasion of premature educational policies being implemented by the current NPP government.
The sudden enrollment of Ghanaian children into GATE FREE S.H.S policy which after one year ‘pregnancy’, gave birth to twin sisters (track green and track gold), reinstatement of trainees allowances, teacher licenser exams, national service for trained teachers, premature conversion of teacher training colleges to universities among other policies.
UNDER THE 1992 CONSTITUTION OF GHANA, CHAPTER; FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS. ARTICLE 25 CLAUSE (1) STATES THAT:
- All persons shall have the right to equal educational opportunities and facilities and with a view to achieving the full realization of that right.
- Basic education shall be free, compulsory and available to all;
- Secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational education, shall be made generally available and accessible to by every appropriate means, and particular, by the progressive introduction of free education.
- Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular, by progressive introduction of free education.
- Functional literacy shall be encouraged or intensified as far as possible
- The development of a system of schools with adequate facilities at all levels shall be actively pursued.
Our constitution has intensively spelled out the way and manner in which our educational system should be managed. But is it the case in practice?
Education MUST be seen as a Right and not a privilege!
From where I sit, I see Ghana’s education as a dark CUMULONIMBUS CLOUDS-clouds associated with heavy rainfall, lightning and thunder (thunderstorm). They are dangerous clouds and due to their electrical charges, it is advisable for pilots to fly air planes above them. As pilots are always advised to fly above cumulonimbus clouds, I also advise politicians to take away their invisible hands from our education system and always think beyond winning the next election.
Educational intellectuals and educational administrators have lost control of their own intellectual capabilities and capacities as civil servants and competent authorities due to political manipulation. Orders from above syndrome, coupled with autocratic behaviors of some school managers has led to the recent students up rise and temporary closer of some schools.
In fact, the pessimistic repercussion of educational policies without proper consultations, authorities seeing students as objects to be acted on, the gagging of teachers and headmasters on educational policies for political reason, and the failure of students to also use appropriate channels to address their concerns is that, Ghana’s education will in the near future produce ‘partisan graduates’ (npp or ndc) because our schools heads and teachers are recruited not base on merit, but partisan politics.
Ghana’s education will soon produce mass skilled arm robbers due to the porosity nature of free entry and exist coupled with the scanty jobs available. Moral and societal values are gradually fading off due to the fact that our educational policies and programs are putting students or younger generation above the elderly.
Where is our education heading towards?
A society without moral and social values is a society in crises!
Amadu abdul hadi (geography lawyer)
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."