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Diasporian News of Friday, 2 March 2007

Source: Rev. Raymond Obodai

Paper presented by NAGHACON

Below is a paper presented by a Patron of National Association of Ghanaian Communities in Nigeria (NAGHACON) at a forum organized by the Association recently.

STRUCTURING GHANA’S EDUCATION TO SERVE AS CATALYST FOR DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY ERADICATION

No country develops beyond its Educational Standard. Education therefore is the catalyst for national development. The level of a nation’s Educational Standard is determined by the quality of Teachers produced to operate the Educational System.

The Educational system develops the nation’s manpower needs. Majority of Ghana’s Teacher Education Institutions are producing mere bureaucrats. Technology, which is a vital tool for a country’s advancement, therefore suffers a serious setback. Technology transfer remains a mirage (a ruse). Poverty is the product of Ghana’s weak Educational system. A lot of the country’s potential human resources are wasted, and if not checked or controlled, poverty may become a lethal weapon to shatter the absolute peace which Ghana now enjoys.

In 2003 we observed at Assin Fosu in the Central Region of Ghana, 30 young ladies of ages 18 years to 24 years gathered round a hair dresser, learning how to weave and style hair, from a cottage salon with one hair dryer. Most of the time they were idle with no customer coming forth. What a sheer waste of our youth who supposedly are to be the future leaders. This phenomenon of wasting our resources is a national issue prevalent in all the Regions of Ghana. If greater part of the citizenry are not trained but are allowed to be idle, who then will contribute to the development of our country Ghana?

There is no holistic approach programme of training to absorb all idle hands towards developmental goals. The Israeli approach to turning around land into arable land through irrigation is worthy of emulation to make Ghana self sufficient in food production and also for export. If Ghana can eliminate waste in the financial sector, it can be done in the human resources sector, which is also very vital to our economic, social and technological development.

Everyone continues saying that, “in Ghana we are poor but we have peace”. Let us take note that Liberia and Ivory Coast were the most peaceful countries in West African post independence era. The peace they once enjoyed was shattered. Ghana now remains the most peaceful country in West Africa after our turbulent years. Should we sit down and continue looking at poverty staring us in our very eyes.

WAY FORWARD AND OUT OF POVERTY

Urgent measures need to be taken to: -

1) Restructure the Educational System in Ghana. Even if the present system will be Maintained, Teacher Training Colleges should offer 5 to 6 years Training course with the integration of Technology into the curriculum from Primary Class one to tertiary Institution.

2) Between 1000 up to 10,000 students from School Certificate level up to University level should be selected annually based on merit/aptitude, under Government Scholarship sponsor for technological studies/training under Trade/Education Agreements signed with foreign governments to offer Education and training in the various sectors of industry and technology.

3) Under proper legislation such grandaunts are to return to Ghana under specified Employment regulations/welfare to supplement local production of labour to man our industries, open up factories for manufacturing of goods or processing for export even if to African countries initially.

4) Indigenous Ghanaians when trained will start our crude oil production instead of waiting forever for foreign firms to do that for us under frivolous conditions.

5) Informal Education should encourage local artisans in all aspects of their trade for Construction, fabrication, refining, manufacturing, etc.

6) Control of the key sectors of Ghana’s economy should be in the hands of Ghanaians, e.g. Agriculture, Manufacturing, Mining, road Construction, Energy – be it solar, gas, hydro, chemical, refinery, etc. Our road to National Economic Recovery/development depends on the training and development of manpower of our youths and adults, which in other words is termed Education.

7) Ghanaian Education needs to be expanded to the status as a foreign exchange earner To admit students from Nigeria and other countries into our Universities, especially the College of Medicine at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the School of Nursing.

Contributed by: Rev. Raymond Obodai

Patron of National Association of Ghanaian Communities in Nigeria (NAGHACON)

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