On Wednesday, a report of Ghana placing last in the OECD global ranking of 76 countries in the world was severally discussed on most radio stations and given a political twist by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
We at The Herald, like all well-meaning Ghanaians, who were sad about the report, taking into account the many interventions and investments government has made in the educational sector, since 2009.
But we said, wait a minute; let us critically examine the pieces of the report that is available, after all we do not have the benefit of the full report.
It came out that 76 countries were ranked in Mathematics and Science, and as we stated earlier, Ghana came out 76, after South Africa, which placed 75. This is bad for any country, that is desirous of competing favorably in the ever changing global world.
But this is our observations with the report.
Firstly, there are 196 countries in the world today; meaning about 120 countries were not ranked by the OECD.
Secondly, the report stated that, 15-year-old school children were examined in Mathematics and Science, these two subjects are basic requirements all over the world, the question we wish to ask is, were the children asked basic questions by the OECD?
Are we to take it that once a student fails in any one or all the two of the above examined subjects, then they are losers?
Thirdly, Ghana came 76, whilst South Africa came 75th, we do not want to make this about race, but we want to find out from the OECD, was it White South Africans or Black South Africans that were interviewed or examined in the survey?
Fourthly, we think that the sample size for this survey lacks credibility, even if the brightest students were chosen, by what criteria were there chosen?
What is the OECD saying about the other 120 countries that did not make the list, going by this, it means we are not actually last, but rather came 76, out of 190 countries. Nigeria, Egypt, Angola etc, were not all on the list, when these countries are among countries with the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Africa.
We need the full picture in other to arrive at any informed conclusion, OECD, must come again.