Living The Lie: Education in distress

Everybody seems to be worried about the educational system only when the students fail in examinations. But have we collectively sat down to assess what may be the bane of our educational system?

Rote Learning
Passing through the educational system in Ghana from Kindergarten to College, the student's anthem has been the phenomenon of "chew and pour". This means students don't learn to understand and apply but rather to pass exams with higher marks and be acclaimed as being the most brilliant and it ends there.

Knowledge Without Skills
The fact is that our educational system is knowledge-based without skills acquisition. Knowledge alone can't make someone self-employed. And these graduates who lack skills will definitely add to the growing number of unemployed graduates.

Money And Certificates
It would surprise you that some students in our senior high schools can't express themselves well in the basic language of instruction. Some courses offered at the various tertiary institutions don't feed the needs of the country at the moment. Educational institutions introduce courses that don't demand much resources to train students yet charge so much for these courses to make more money. Some people also enter universities and colleges just to obtain degrees and also be called graduates. They don't pursue courses that would make them employable after graduating from school.

There has been a lot of discussion about our educational system. The discussions have always centred on why our educational system is failing and also on why some subjects, especially science and mathematics, seem to be difficult subjects for pupils. Discussants always suggest a change to or review of our current syllabus as a whole. They think it would help make our educational system better. Teaching pupils relevant material using modern teaching practices and in a language which they can easily comprehend will be a panacea to our educational woes.

Our national language is English yet most of the populace cannot speak it fluently. Must you be taught a language that is supposed to be your national language in a classroom? How many of our children are born into English-speaking homes? Even Twi, a common Ghanaian language spoken in almost every home, is relegated to the background.

Poor Policies, Poor Facilities, Poor Results
Policymakers on education sometimes just copy educational models from other jurisdictions and paste them directly into ours without first considering the dynamics. If you copy a model from America or any other developed country and paste it into Ghana's system, it will definitely be fraught with hiccups. In our zeal to get to their level, we must hasten slowly. We must get the basics right!

Most schools are not properly equipped to carry out the various activities entailed in the courses they offer. The government is rather interested in putting up structures they can point to as evidence of work done, so they can win the next election.

Politics has it that, what is unpopular but makes sense doesn't get you the votes to win power. This has influenced most politicians to abandon brilliant ideas because such ideas, when implemented, will make their leadership unpopular. And the myopic ones often go with that idea.

What do you also make of this situation of our educational system? Share your thoughts here.

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