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Opinions of Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Columnist: Benjamin Oduro

Operation clean Ghana: Diffusion of Innovation

Ghana is a nation or country blessed with many resources but, the resources are not sufficient to the meet the needs of the Ghanaian populace.

We are struggling to meet our end needs and some sections of the people are unable to meet their needs. Others are involved in social vices such as armed robbery, child prostitution and promiscuity. This has made the country to be socially distorted. My problem is on the so-called “Graduate Unemployed Association” of Ghana.

My empirical inference concludes that majority of graduates churned out by tertiary institutions are unable to access employment opportunities. Our educational institutions in Ghana have turned into “chew, pour and forget” system and that will not help us.

The suggestions I seek to raise will remedy the problem of graduate unemployment in the country. Most graduates conclude that getting a first degree is a sure way of getting a white coloured job. However, this is not the case.

First degree is a step for us to achieve more. We have to think about furthering our education after obtaining a first degree. Most University students who graduate with First Class Honors lack the practical skills and experience required by potential employers.

This is due largely to the structural system of the exam orientated educational system instead of knowledge and skills acquisition orientated educational system.

The key objective for this piece is to suggest something new to the government to help solve the issue of graduate unemployment.

I had an encounter on 5th June 2018 in Accra. I drunk a bottle drink and the empty bottle was still in my hand till I saw a dustbin and disposed it off. It came to my mind that people can be employed to deal with issues pertaining to waste management. The government can invest money by employing the graduates to deal with the waste menace.

Though at the first stage, they will feel reluctant to work but later, people will be involved in dealing with the waste menace. In this case, I thought of one sociological theory thus, “Diffusion of Innovation theory”. Innovation according to Rogers, is an idea, practice or object perceived as new by an individual or other units of adoption (Rogers, 2003).

Diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among members of a social system (Everett Roger, 1961). In a nutshell, this theory talks about how new ideas will or can spread among a group of people.

In this case, we have to think about the innovation first and the persuasion mode to get them involved because they may say they are University graduate and they deserve better. With this, the main construct of innovation of diffusion theory will help in the process and these are knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation and confirmation (evaluation).

In starting the innovation to diffuse, we have what is called the adaptors categories and this will explain why some graduates will join and some will not be willing to join.

First, we have the innovators which constitute about 2.5%. These are the people who bring up the idea or innovation. Followed by early adaptors that are about 13.5%. With this people, when the innovators initiate the idea, they are the first group to join help sustain the idea and willing to work no matter the circumstances.

The early majority follow and they constitute about 34%. With this category of people, when the early adaptors join and they start working and talk to them about the innovation influencing them and it motivates them to join the team. 34% also for the late majority which means, they want to see more people working in it before they also think of joining to work.

The laggard is the people who can change or do not change no matter the circumstance. This group of the category are difficult to change. They form about 16%. With this people, they are not easy to be changed but some can change as time goes on.

I think with this initiative, the government, stakeholders, and policymakers can think about this and make decisions on how to create a job for Unemployed Graduates. Instead of government spending money to solve disaster of waste, it should be used to pay people to have a better living.

There is a saying which goes, “Prevention is better than cure”. Which means, we have to prevent the disaster from happening than to wait and waste our small resources (money) to control it. Moreover, someone may say, people will work but the work will not be done well or people will not respect them.

I think with this, laws are in the country and it should be applied to all culprits. Anyone who throws rubbish anywhere or disrespect the people to be employed on that job, the police should arrest them and this will in solving the issue.

The rubbish bin should be at each vantage point of every town and government should employ or recruit people including unemployed graduates and provide employment to them. I always cry for people living in Accra because dirt and waste have swallowed them.