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Opinions of Saturday, 25 March 2017

Columnist: Sam, Leo R.

Example of great sponsorship !!!

Unibank logo Unibank logo

By: Leo R. Sam

The financial Institution, UniBank deserves to be CONGRATULATED for sponsoring an important event established by the University of Ghana to honour the three heroes, who contributed so much to the educational system of Ghana.

Sir Fredrick Gordon Guggisberg, Dr. James Emman Kwegyir–Aggrey and Rev. Alexander Gordon Fraser are considered as the founders of Achimota College.

The youth in Ghana must be made aware of the contribution of Achimota to the higher educational institutions in the country. The University of Ghana, Legon had its roots in Achimota College. The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology also had its roots in Achimota College.

Dr. Kwegyir-Aggrey was a great Ghanaian Educational Philosopher. Perhaps the officials who are NOW in charge of planning the educational system of the country, should carefully examine the definition of education proclaimed by Kwegyir-Aggrey. He stated:

“BY EDUCATION I DO NOT MEAN SIMPLY LEARNING.
I MEAN THE TRAINING IN MIND, IN MORALS AND HAND
THAT HELPS TO MAKE ONE SOCIALLY EFFICIENT.
NOT SIMPLY THE THREE R’S BUT THE THREE H’S
THE HEAD, THE HAND AND THE HEART.”

For many generations, the Ghanaian system of education has just over emphasized the three R’s(Reading Arithmetic and Writing). Memorizing facts just to pass examinations has been the major focus of the system. The technique of CHEW, POUR, PASS and FORGET has been prevalent in the system for too long.

All officials involved in developing the educational system ( PRIMARY, SECONDARY & TERTIARY levels ) must put on their thinking caps and avoid the conditions which promote graduates who adore putting on academic gowns and caps. Ghana now needs graduates who would like to put on working boots, hard hats, work gloves and blue-collar overalls. They must be prepared to work with their HANDS to build our roads and bridges and other essential infrastructures and NOT stay in the offices pushing pens. We can no longer expect other nationalities to come to Ghana to build for us.

Dr. Kwegyir Aggrey was a top level white-collar scholar but he did not look down on Blue collar jobs. He was known to have participated physically using the spade to help solve the drainage problems when building Achimota College. Aggrey’s idea of training the HANDS of students to become socially efficient and self-reliant must be seriously considered before embarking on any changes in the educational system. Well-trained HANDS will not rely on governments to employ them. They will have the ability to create productive jobs for themselves and others.

Aggrey was often referred to as “The Booker T. Washington of Africa.” In his famous book, The African American Century, Professor Henry Louis Gates, states that Booker T. Washington was an extraordinarily hard working freed slave. Washington “…urged African Americans to avoid politics and to emphasize economic self-reliance.”

The main purpose of this article is to CONGRATULATE Unibank for supporting the organizers of Aggrey-Frazer-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures.

Hopefully the organizers will also seriously consider other activities, which will encourage young Ghanaians at the early childhood, primary and secondary levels to know all about our great educational philosopher, Dr. Aggrey. Hopefully other institutions will emulate the good example of Unibank to support the activities for the younger generation.
May the Good Lord guide our leaders to improve our educational system.

Leo R. Sam
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada
lsam@interbaun.com
AUTHOR OF “Do Teachers Count?” The Story of Kobena Sam ( To be published Soon) ISBN9781540834980