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Opinion | Feb 11, 2019

A National Diploma For SHS Graduates

A  National Diploma For SHS Graduates

Even before the press release by the Ministry of Education, this morning; to clarify this matter as mooted by the minister, I thought the minister was clear enough; and there wasn't any need to make a mockery of the minister's comment as we saw on social media.

I read a news item online relating to the Minister Of Education about how the Ministry Of Education and Ghana Education Service are working to offer graduates of basic education ( now up to SHS ) a diploma certificate that could afford these graduates opportunity to be employed in any sector of the economy.

The Minister is said to have said that 'it is unfair for young people in the country to be forced to complete University before being eligible for employment in the country'.

Surprisingly, this intent of the MOE and GES as revealed by the minister has been met with some misgivings and to a ridiculous extent mockery by citizens on social media.

But I have to say that in principle I share the intent and worry of the Minister in relation to this matter. I think the state of our educational system as it is now per the demands of the employment sector is worrying.

It doesn't make any economic sense as a poor nation to ask everybody to have a university education before being accepted in the work environment.

This wasn't the case in the past. If you ask any top management person above fifty years in the banking institutions today, he would tell you they got employed into the banking service on GCE 'O' Level or on Middle School Leaving Certificates.

And in the past, anybody who read Accounting at this level could get employment in the bank at the lower level. And it was expected that that junior employer would work himself up to the top by gaining experiences on the job and through occasional courses.

And yet today ,the system as structured makes the ordinary Ghanaian invest so much in obtaining a Diploma certificate and even degrees before one can get employment in a banking institution. This is quite unfortunate.

The irony is that banking job is more easier today than in the past. Today, the computer does most of the manual jobs that people were tasked to do in the past; yet people need more certificates to work in the bank today than before.

Higher education isnt bad in itself; but it must yield economic dividends to us; especially because we are a poor nation.

Ordinarily, SHS cerificate should be enough for anybody to get a job at any sector of our economy. This is when we have a system that recruits new graduates to lower level of organisations expecting them to work and gather experiences that would help them to rise to the top.

I think it is witchery for us to have a system that drains everything from the ordinary man just to give university education to ordinary people which does not bring any immediate benefit to ordinary families.

It becomes even more ridiculous to find a young journalist who hasnt feature one article in the dailies reading a Masters Degree in Journalism.

And you would wonder the need. Kwesi Pratt, Kweku Baako and the Late Kobla Dumor did everything in Journalism without a degree in Journalism.

There is a problem with the current system of education. It doesnt give economic value to what the ordinary person invests in education here.

This move by the MOE and GES as announced by the Minister should be a welcome news to all.

We need to take another look at the 'what" and the "why 'of our educational system. I am not too sure the suggestion to award Diploma at that level would necessarily do the trick.

But we must look at the whole philosophy underlying our educational system again.

Paul Zowonu
Accra

Paul Zowonu
Paul Zowonu, © 2019

This author has authored 49 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: PaulZowonu

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