EDUCATION

The relationship with God gives you the values, the vision, the commitment and the way you live. Education is however key to personal development and societal growth.  At the national level the human resources of people is the key to national development. The attitude, the mind and the orientation of the people have not been developed and often times it is education. How you are brought up and then the education you get are the two very important vehicles of education to me.

My passion for education and my real concern has to do with the lower levels of education because that is where most people miss out, that is basic education. Up to about 30% of children don’t even have the basic primary education to become literate. When you are illiterate it’s like your world has shrank by about 90% and that is The Tragedy of Political Discrimination

 for my country and am so passionate about that and it pains me because I can see the difference between my upbringing and my rural life if it hadn’t being education. It is important for the ordinary people to know that every child has the opportunity to be literate and I believe that should be the number one concern of this country today and that every child should have the opportunity to have primary education. But a functional primary education whereby by the time they have finished the sixth grade the tools of reading, writing and bases of arithmetic will be imparted to be able to live in the modern society. The reality is that it can be done. Of cause education is not meant for but just to develop the person and open their world.

The aim especially at the primary level should be to inculcate Godliness, good cultural behaviors of integrity; of honesty and nationalism, these things should dominate our acculturation of children. I believe that the resources which are being put in education are enough to be able to achieve this because the key does not lie in so much resource as in the following:

First of all the target that we set, management of the school, supervision and accountability. Supervising the teachers and demanding them of certain output. So the issue is not salary related but management accountability and supervision.

All children should go beyond junior secondary school at least 80% of them to the senior secondary school level. I don’t think children should be allowed to get out of the system normally before they are 18 years. I believe that the government should move away from boarding school system immediately. Instead we should have a community senior secondary school system and when we have this system the children walk to school and come back home, then the resources of the government will be enough to pay the teachers well to ensure supervision and then give opportunity to every Ghanaian child to have senior secondary school education and that can be done.

It is not to scrap the boarding schools system but those who want to go to boarding school should pay for it without government subsidizing so that every child of Ghana get the opportunity to have senior secondary school education. We should focus at least 50% of them in acquiring the skills. We should train the real infantry men and women in acquiring skills for our industries and development of the economy.

However, the biggest transformation that must take place is that we must be allowed to compete for scholarship in public universities. In other words all government support to university education should be in the form of scholarship according to the man power needs of the country. But all these require a national developmental oriented educational policy.

The other has to do with improving the management and supervision of the education institution. You can’t have a situation whereby being a professor qualifies you to lead a multimillion education institution like the University of Ghana. That is a necessary but not a sufficient condition. It is management leadership skills and accountability.

I think that we must get people to be independent thinkers, critical thinkers. Critical thinking is good and then independent talk and expectations. We must train people in order for them to fight on their own as entrepreneurs. Of cause not everybody would be an entrepreneur but people must be train to take responsibility for their lives. I believe that at the university level you must have a liberal act course.  We may adopt this for everybody who goes to the university to have certain basic courses whether you are going to do medicine, technology or any other program. You must understand world history, you must understand and appreciate literature, you must understand your national history and aspirations, you must have quality ICT capabilities and you must be able to understand the financial and economic environment. We shouldn’t have a system whereby you go to the university and you spend three years studying economics or engineering, the world is bigger than that.

Education should equip you to be able to teach yourself to acquire knowledge and other things. In my case about 70% of all I have learned is outside the classroom and partly because I had to do my ‘A’ Level and ‘O’ Level by corresponding courses and I acquired the capacity to teach myself and I believe that good education system should aim at that and that must come formally.

 Let me conclude by saying that personally I am involved in education in Ghana at all levels.  At GIMPA I was the rector and now I teach as a professor of economics and leadership at Pentecost University College. I am involved in introducing education, mentorship and improving the curriculum at Pentecost University.

At the secondary level, about 11 years ago my wife and I set up Ghana Christian International School to train the type of products some of us are looking for. I have also started a project with my family in my village to moderate the community concept.  We want to possibly convert the Ghana Christian International School in my village called Hwiremoasi into a six year secondary school. A concept which I practiced on my children and it worked and with any child we tried it on is that every normal 5 and 6 year old child properly taught within 6 months will be able to read and write. I want to demonstrate that one at the primary school and I want to set up a primary school probably that will be a second retirement job being with kids. I want demonstrate because it is doable and we don’t need so much resources we need a change of attitude and commitment in the life of our children.