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General News of Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Source: theheraldghana.com

Gov’t to pollute pupils with Dankwa-Busia induced history - Ablakwa

Former Deputy Education Minister in-charge of Tertiary Education, Okudzeto Ablakwa Former Deputy Education Minister in-charge of Tertiary Education, Okudzeto Ablakwa

Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzato Ablakwa, has expressed grave concern over the decision by the Akufo-Addo government to make changes in the educational sector with the inclusion of learning of history as a subject at the basic level by the Ghana Education Service (GES).

The former Deputy Education Minister in-charge of Tertiary Education under the erstwhile Mahama government, fear Ghana’s unadulterated history, may be compromised and turned upside down.

He drew lessons from what happened last year in Parliament, where the president made changes to the number of holidays observed in the country to recognize his uncles; JB Dankwa, William Ofori-Atta and his biological father Edward Akufo-Addo.

Mr Ablakwa, a former NUGS President said, he cannot confidently say that the new subject, which is going to be introduced next academic year, will not be skewed to favour the President and the New Patriotic Party(NPP) tradition.

According to the legislator, certain decisions, especially the one bothering on the introduction of the Holiday amendment bill, that was passed in Parliament last year, aside “scandalizing” him, gives him cause to worry for the future, as long as the governing NPP, remains at the helm of affairs.

Presenting his view on the introduction of primary school curriculum and introduction of new school uniform for Junior High School (JHS) on Good Morning Ghana on Metro television last Friday, the MP, who is on record to have issued a write up, criticizing the government’s plans to compose university governing council with review of existing law, said he would want to have a copy of the said curriculum to convince himself that nothing untoward would happen to the sector as government is seeking to make changes.

“I get worried especially under this current president if they are the ones going to be in charge of the curriculum because of what has happened in Parliament the public holiday amendment bill what I read, I was scandalized, our history has been distorted.

So, I want to see the content of the curriculum, what kind of history are they going to be teaching our children at that tender age, are they going to pollute them with that kind of skewed history? So that matter, will be for another day for thorough discussion”, he submitted.

On uniform, Mr Ablakwa also held a view similar to those by many Ghanaians, including parents, and jabbed government for changing the current uniform, saying it is a “Misplaced priority”.

In his opinion, there are more pressing issues government needs to tackle than mere introduction of uniform, which comes with additional cost to parents, who are already going through unbearable hardship.

He recalled during their time, the Education Ministry under the leadership of Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyeman, they introduced several interventions with some being free distribution of uniforms, free sandals, free laptops for teachers and students scholarships for Maths and Science students for teachers and students.

He was worried some of these interventions which were rolled out to lessen the burden of parents and students, and also enhance teaching and learning, are no longer operational as they have been collapsed giving way for these new ones by government.

“It’s a misplaced priority. I do not think that this uniform intervention is needed. That, they are graduating or transitioning from JHS to SHS so they should….Know!When we were in power between 2013 to January 2017, we had distributed 787, 000 pieces of uniforms and you know that it was a social intervention, the free sandals social intervention, these days we don’t hear about that.

There are so many social intervention programmes we rolled out that appear to have be cancelled, free uniform, free sandals, the MATH scholarship scheme—-the bursaries that we were giving to Maths and science students we don’t hear about that anymore. The computers for teachers and students the laptops you don’t hear about that anymore so I am concern about that”.

According to the former Deputy Education Minister, it was rather shocking to learn that the GES despite the many challenges facing the educational sector especially the basic level at a time social media was flooded with teachers writing examination questions on chalkboard, won’t concern itself with such issues but are busily majoring in the minors.

Aside having it priorities wrong, the MP said it appears all government is interested in are reforms that will have them remembered as the administration that changed certain names and introduced other stuffs as legacies.

“And you see at a time pictures are all over on social media, examinations being written on blackboards, one would have thought that the Director General of the Education Service and indeed this government will be prioritizing the ingredients of quality.

I don’t get the sense that this government is having it priorities right. So let not put the cart before the horse let get things done properly and let carry out the needed interventions. I get too worried about the focus on reforms and we want to change uniforms, we want legacy things to be reminded that we change uniforms, we change names”, Mr Ablakwa said.

He also talked about plans to change names of certain universities and replace them with people at a time the government is unable to beat it chest to say, it has this number of infrastructure built.

“The irony is that the President who commissioned both university, including the University of Energy and Natural Resources, his name is nowhere, so as for the NPP is concerned, they are not interested in constructing but renaming I get worried”.

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