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17.06.2019 Feature Article

Djokoto’s Diary: Invest in tertiary education.

Djokoto’s Diary: Invest in tertiary education.

My vision is for Ghana to become the most prosperous economy in Africa and the most equitable society in the world. My mission is to revolutionise the Republic and unite our people across partisan lines for the manifestation of this goal. Ghana leads the continent, not just in entrepreneurial initiatives and services of all kinds; but in technology, academia, arts and culture. Accra is already by some measures the most booming business-friendly city in the whole of Africa. The hour has struck for us to level up and bridge the gap of development. The time is now for us to unleash our talents as Ghanaians!

Yes, there is a need for modern infrastructure, from mega business hubs, canals to hospitals. And the government has a duty to give the youth of this Republic the chance to purchase their own homes and establish thriving businesses. But we all know from our own socioeconomic realities that there is one great precondition – one integral factor that determines whether you will have the requisite skills and the sheer confidence to maximise your talents – and that is receiving quality tertiary education.

It is still a sad reality that if you are from a poor background, or raised in one of the deprived districts of Ghana, you are far less likely to receive quality tertiary education. And that means you will be less likely to get employed in one of the lavish, high-paying city firms. Even worse, this will stifle your opportunities as an entrepreneur.

When we look at this lack of educational opportunity, we are seeing not just the failure of government to nurture a just and equitable society. We are looking at the biggest single cause of economic underperformance of the Republic, or to look at it from another perspective, the biggest single opportunity to change our future, and to boost the growth of per capita GDP.

It should be obvious to the political establishment that teachers are performing the most vital function in our ecosystem: that is to impart knowledge from one generation to the next. It is accordingly obvious that they should receive better wages and working conditions for their labour.

Above all, we need to charge our centres of scholarships to produce more success stories. We also need to look at the provision of skills through the lens of per pupil funding and ensure there is enough money in our national purse to deliver quality tertiary education, especially for academic courses where we must be more demanding.

Tertiary education should be at the heart of an ecosystem of innovation that spans from universities and academia to venture capital and entrepreneurs. It is ludicrous that employers have to hire other nationals to take up the many rewarding jobs created by our economic growth, largely because we have failed to improve tertiary education. I am not implying that without a tertiary education, the youth cannot go on to succeed in life, but it would certainly boost their prospects of success.

Data Politico
Data Politico, © 2019

This author has authored 68 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: DataPolitico

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