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01.09.2019 Feature Article

Our Educational system: Where we stumbled!!!

Our Educational system: Where we stumbled!!!

Education is the bedrock to every nation's human resource development. The importance of education then and now, in the crafting of empires far outweighs the essence for which it was planted on the soil of our great nation. The merits and cardinality of education, deserves an attention and tenderness that could be likened to parenting.

A Country is therefore clearly headed for its decay, when the recipes that made up their Educational system is conspicuously scrimpy and insipid. The human resource endowments of such a nation, utterly suffers as a direct consequence of this scenario. A picture that sadly depicts the sweltering dilemma mother Ghana is currently engulfed in.

I hate to lend credence to the fact that, Education is a pirate of the white man and one of the few imports he left on our shores. This stance is evident in the fact that, the universality of education to an extent, mirrors that of water to every nation, race or creed. For even in the jungle, the calves learn to hunt by watching the activities of their mothers: This is the truest foundation of education!

However, from our first contact with the Europeans, through to our independence, the Country's educational system has traveled through a series of reformational mazes which somewhat, reduced and in some few instances, added an aura and quality to our educational system. But this arguably fell short in explaining how and why we smeared mother Ghana with these avoidable messes.

Can we pin this on our insistent reforms? Off course not! For change is clearly inevitable in the lifespan of every human institution. So where exactly did we crush into the deadly hurdle that is slowly, but perceptibly leading our system to its early grave? Woefully, I would hang it around the necks of our purported 'landlords' whose natural watchful functions, have miraculously turned them into predators, who preys on the progress of our Country.

The Politicians who volitionally posed to 'messiah' over the fortunes of our country, are in fact, precipitating our doom. They drive us selfishly, by the accolades they are able to amass for their political parties and not for the Country they so joyously opted to serve. That is the definition of leadership and service in our part of the world.

But must our educational system be the arena where Politicians bout it out for bragging rights? Should the quality of our education be traded for cheap political points? If the 1951 Accelerated Development Plan and the 1961 Education Act, both heralded by Dr Kwame Nkrumah sought to expand Ghana's education, gave precedence to teacher training and oversaw the establishment of second cycle institutions across the length and breadth of the country. Why was it sapped by the National Liberation Council (NLC) when they assumed the reigns?

Could we not roll out constitutional provisions that would make this delicate aspect of our national life untouchable? Or nonetheless, consolidate emerging policies with the old, rather than totally suspending policies which were useful in the pass and could arguably be useful in the near future. Off course, We could! Perhaps, we just chose not to...One thing is clear though, our political leaders of the yesteryears and of today, seamlessly betrayed and are still betraying the Country.

In 1974 under the National Redemption Council (NRC) , the Dzobo committee gave birth to the New Structure and Content of Education(NCSE). This policy imperatively, introduced the Junior Secondary School (JSS) and Senior Secondary School (SSS) module, reduced the duration of secondary education from 5 years to 4 years, introduced the Ghana Teaching Service (GTS) which metamorphosed to the now Ghana Education Service (GES).

Amidst the criticisms that might have been labeled against these reforms, one empirical positive stood out. That is, reducing Secondary education from 5 years to 4 years. Practical as this was, one therefore questions why the 1987 reforms had it reduced further to 3 years. Nothing is more perplexing than the drama that followed this same reforms under the flagship of Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings.

The 2007 reforms under John Agyekum Kuffuor among other things, brought back the 4 year Secondary education duration only for it to be reversed by Prof. John Evans Atta Mills' regime barely a year into office. Looking at the promise the erstwhile policy showed in terms of efficiency, reversing it was regrettably unfortunate. Must every political regime reform the educational sector? But for the drama it would have created, the current administration would not have hesitated to revisit the 4 year Senior high school duration.

Now, every good thinking Ghanaian can envisage the fate of the numerous educational reforms of the current administration, should they leave office come 2020. They are good as garbage that will most certainly be flushed out, as and when this regime losses political power. That is the sad reality! Most of our national policies are brainchildren of other great nations, but as it stands, I seem not to find a great Country that toys with their educational system.

I better say, we inspired ourselves. Perhaps, it is just one of the currencies we brought from creation. Mistakes are interwoven with our daily dealings, but we cannot be making mistakes this long... This is just us! We fell, and this is where we staggered!!!

-Adam Thualethu Uthamah

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Adam Thualethu Uthamah
Adam Thualethu Uthamah, © 2019

A humanist and an Afro-optimist who believes Ghana should have been way better... Column Page: AdamThualethuUthamah

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