Central to the rise in the number of people acquiring education in the country today, is the kind of education students are getting these days.
It is worrying how students of this day engage in the popular “chew and pour”- a term which means learn overnight or for a short period of time to write examinations and forget afterwards. It usually involves memorizing notes and texts, including what hasn’t been properly understood. Students in Ghana these days forsake their books and resort to their phones, not for academic purposes but for other unhelpful activities like social media, pornography etc. Sometimes I wonder if our lecturers and teachers reflect over this. What exactly is happening? What is going on? Has something gone wrong? These are useful questions that need to be asked.
It is one thing to be educated and to speak fluent English, but it is another to acquire skills for application.
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, education is the knowledge, skill and understanding that you get from attending a school, college or university.
The Ghanaian educational system lacks enough practical aspect. It is usually about the theory and writing to pass, since that is what is required to move to the next level or to find a job. This is why an educated fellow will defecate and dump refuse indiscriminately not considering the implication of his or her actions.
Have we thought about hairstylists, mechanics, drivers, dressmakers and others in the country? They are the ones who can usually afford daily meals as well as cater for their families, what about the so called graduates?
Majority of them end up forming unemployed graduates’ associations and cannot afford daily meals or accommodation. It also results to the lust for quick money since the skills do not exist and whatever was taught has been long forgotten.
The aftermath of this is robbery gangs, vigilante groups or other unauthorized businesses that yield no positive results.
The educational system lacks the impartation of self-reliance, honesty, competition, patriotism, innovativeness as well as appreciating our culture, sculpture, dance, clothing and language.
We need to move from the era where students who can memorize and quote are seen as brilliant and those who cannot memorize are seen as weak. Thinking outside the box should be encouraged. Creative thinking and contributions outside the syllabus should be welcomed. There is the need to study outside the usual courses.
It is only in this nation that science and Information Communication Technology(ICT) is studied without apparatus and tools.
There is a need for a change, or better still restructuring where talents, culture, books, technology, moral and core values need to be merged. What needs to be done is a task for the nation at large
Let’s take action now.
Mabel Rhoda Ghanney
Ghana Institute of Journalism