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Opinions of Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Columnist: Okyere, Frederick

Quality education in Science, technology .....

'''' and math's as a key to financail growth in Ghana.


Abstract

This paper will outline the benefit of science, technology, and math education as the product of economic growth and development in the financial sectors of the Ghanaian economy. It will also place more emphasis on why a well-developed science, technology, and math’s education in Ghana will help improve the financial sectors of the Ghanaian economy. The paper will continuously analyze the successful experience of a well-developed higher education in science, technology, and math’s in the United States, Japan, Germany, and Australia which are now the world economic super powers of today and also the fact that Ghana have place overreliance on low quality education in science, technology, and math which is slowing down its financial growth will be prove at the end of the paper.












Quality Education in Science, technology, and Math as the Key to Financial Growth in Ghana
Ghana is one of the most populated country in West Africa with a population of 24 million (U.S Department of State, 2011). The country have diverse and rich resource base as such one of the highest GDP per capita in Africa but the country remains somewhat dependant on international financial and technical assistance as well as activities of the extensive Ghanaian Diasporas. Because of the country’s overreliance on low quality education in science and math’s, the financial growth of the economy continues to produce under capacity.
Currently, the financial growth of the Ghanaian economy is at a decreased rate because of the fact that the country depends heavily on the foreign countries for technical knowhow which moves income to foreign countries. An example of this is where Ghana has to hire the services of Chinese Engineers to build its roads and bridges in the country for the reason that the education sector has not been able to produce qualify graduates with the technical experience to be able to carry out some of these investment activities in the country thereby moving financial resources of the country to China. In the global battle of innovation today, the preferred weapon for Ghana should be quality education in science, technology, and math because education leaders across the world have come out with a promising solution that the growth of a country really depends heavily on quality education in science, technology, and math. Not only these, the country has been dependent on foreign countries for vehicles because the education system has not been able to answer the question as to how we can produce some of these important economical resources to help boost the economy of the country. One may ask, why are Ghanaians crying for jobs whiles creating employment in other countries?
Gaoling (2010),cited the beginning of the last century as advance countries like United States, Germany, and Japan have been seen as the world leaders in terms of their economy for the simple reason that these countries have a well-developed science and math education in their country. Because of that, these countries have a major control in the world economy by providing quality and important capital resources that countries around the globe need to improve the lives of it nationals. The Inspiration giving by the successful practice of higher vocational education in developed countries (2010) went further to explain why Australia has made a significant and quality progress in its economy in recent years as the provision of quality science, technology, and math education in the country. These education systems drastically change the country’s economical status from low productivity to not just high productive economy but also quality productive economy where countries around the world are now depending on today.

Furthermore, two major discoveries were made by the new South African government regarding the inadequacy of the country’s financial resource and unavailability of qualified and experiences personnel to implement all ground programs the government promise in its election manifestos to push the notion of capacity and capacity building in the country (J & C, 2006). Currently, the most important tool for economic development is not the use of muscles which developing countries like Ghana build their economy’s on, but it has been in a rise from the muscle dependent economy to a new system of wealth creation by the application of new technologies which advance countries use today.


The last decade of the 20th Century placed more emphases on higher education in science, technology, and math in all countries around the globe of which Ghana also came out with the polytechnic system of education to train diplomats to push the countries industrial sector forward, but because of inadequate logistics for teaching and learning in this institutions, the overall objective of the polytechnic education has still not be achieve. It is clear that higher education is believe to be the key to continuing growth tool in all sectors of a countries economy which a country like Ghana needs at this time of its developmental age. Even in the United States of America, it is agree that the demand for more science-trained workers in the country and around the world appears to be real. In 2006 a panel of senior corporate executives, educators, and scientist appointed by national academies called for major national investment in K-12 science and math education to address human resource demand in science and math’s file Teitelbaum (2006), this in effect shows a sign to Ghana that the current demand of education that the country need is science and maths. Therefore if Ghana can heavily invest in science and math’s education, it will help the country to be able to compete with the current world economic trend.

In order for Ghana to have a Knowledge Based Economy, the country will have to ensure that the production, diffusion and use of the country’s technology and information are the key to its economic activities in a way to maintain financial growth and development in the country’s economy. According to George & Elizabeth (2006), “investment in knowledge refers to investment in areas such as research and development, software, education and basic science.” The article went on to explain innovation and the machinery, equipment and infrastructure to support the knowledge based economy to be at its maximum benefit to the nation’s economy.

Furthermore, the country can also grow its financial base by letting engineers continue their college education because the challenges they will face in the 21st century will require them to broaden their knowledge base. To be able to achieve this, the education sector (government) should be able to have carrier education option for the engineers to be able to study whiles working in order for them to meet the current engineering trend in the world of today. It is for this reason that the United States of America funded the vocational and technical community college education in the beginning of the last century; the aim of these institutions is “serving the community, set university education, vocational education and adult education together” and it was then considered to be a unique contribution made by the United States of America in the field of education as cited in Gaoling (2010). The achievement made by Germany in their economy as of today can be attributed to the long history of vocational training which stated as early as the 13th century. According to Gaoling (2010), the country had training in the form of masters train an apprentice. During this transformation reached by German states in 1968, specialist universities were established at the time for student to pursue a three year college and senior college of Industrial Design, social welfare class school, Higher-Level Economic technological progress. Also Austria can be noted for three different stages of vocational education after the World War II. The first phase is the start-up from the 20th century 50s to 70s, the second phase is of adjustment and reforms from the 20th century, and the third stage is the formative of the system since the 20th century 90s. These changes in the German education system were the beginning of their industrial achievements that we are seeing today which have contribute positively to the industrial sectors of the world economy. The Australian Technical and Further Education (TAFE) received world attention as the pillar of the Australian economy and a high-quality education and training systems which is under the framework of a nation, as an industrial driving force and customer-centric, limberly running schools, with effective interface between secondary schools and universities.

From the above examples of education systems in the countries mention respectively, one can conclude that if Ghana embarks on quality education in science, technology and math, the country’s financial growth will be strengthen for the following reasons.

1. The importation of capital goods into the country can be made in Ghana

2. The country will stop hiring expatriate to work for a high fee and foreign taxes that the country pays.

3. Roads and Bridges will be built in Ghana by Ghanaians and some neighboring countries can also award contract to Ghanaians.

4. Jobs can be created in all sectors of the economy in Ghana
According to Andrade’s & Tayseer (2011), education competencies for school teachers in the light of the global tendencies towards a Knowledge Based Economy suggest that reforms and reshaping in educational systems are necessary for the following reasons which include

1. A change towards a Knowledge Based Economy and information, the need for trained quality people who are able to adopt new things with time requirement,
2. The ability to compete with developed countries in the field of science, industry and economy, and
3. Finally the need for obtaining the skills of critical and creative thinking and problem-solving methods and be able to apply them in real life situation.
In this scene, Ghana should ensure to train students and teachers who can be put some of these important aspects of education to help move the technology across the country for financial growth.
In conclusion, I understand the government with its current educational structure is trying to achieve better education to boost the industrial sector by introducing the polytechnics in the ten regions of the country, but the institutions has not been equipped with logistics and qualify personnel to achieve the overall objective of the institutions. I will therefore recommend authorities in Ghana to look into the above examples of education systems that the advance countries have use to reach their height so that the necessary corrections can be made in the country’s educational system. The fact is because the education system in Ghana is not bringing out the kind of industrialist who will move the country to be industrialized in order to meet the 21st century economic demand that countries need today. The graph in the reference page will show the total population Ghana as of date.



















References
George, E. &. (2006). Positioning Higher Education for the knowledge based economy. 52 (4), 589-610 . Retrieved from Ebscohost.
J, L. C., & C, T. C. (2006, March 1). Capacity for (quality) Instruction in Science and Mathematics in a primary Schools. Retrieved from Ebscohost.
M.S., T. (2006, October 9). A new science degree to meet industry needs.
U.S Department of State. (2011, June 1). Background notes of Ghana. Retrieved from .
W., G. (2010). Inspiration Given by the successful practice of developing higher vocational education in developed countries. 3 (1), 206-209, 4p. Retrieved from Ebscohost.












The population graph of Ghana



Reference
“Population” (2011), Retrieved September 15, 2011. From http://ghanaweb.com/