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Opinions of Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Columnist: Abdallah Abdul Matin

When pinching education statistics of my chiefdom tickles my course mates

I am a staunch liberal Muslim and an exponent of the omnipotence of God. I, in that light, believe in God. I also believe in man.

I trust man's faculty to make and unmake things that may and his capacity to remote controllable forces. It is paradoxic when we hang our abilities and rather hitch our lives on fate we can otherwise dictate. We fill up places of worship to assure ourselves a possible comfiest life and subject industry to the dust bin. We fail to realise that trashing industry breeds penury.

This bitter ramblings is borne out of an eventful lecture I happen to find myself. In that very lecture, on a young faithful Wednesday, we thoroughly excised the educational sector of the Ghanaian economical makeup to primarily test the impact of education on our economy.

It therefore required that we borrow the works of World Bank and Ghana Statistical Service to appreciate it better. We analysed, screened and vetted many charts and figures, then came the punching and pinching one.

The education or literacy distribution of Ghana sets in. No sooner had we projected the chart than my course mate burst in deafening laughter. The loud guffaw was not weaved to hurt me but was a spontaneous one at the education backwardness of the land of my birth - the Northern Region.

Through our surgical examination of the charts, we diagnosed that Northern Region among all the ten regions trailed in terms of education. To put it literally, Northern Region is the most uneducated region in Ghana. I was lost in my thoughts when my mates unknowingly made fun out of the deficiency of my people. I masqueraded my pain with my thoughts. I saw no sense in begrudging somebody for my man-made shame.

Why are we trudging in the last rugs of the educational ladder despite a comprehensive scholarship handed to us for decades? Can't we draw the parallels between our poverty-stricken region and our disdain for modernised knowledge?

Mind you! I am not crafting a domineering figure for education but education has over the years proven to be the panacea to our penury. If we seriously embrace the hunt for knowledge, we will in no time transmogrify our scorching sun into megawatts of electricity, the arable land into a food basket and the largely unskilled labour into highly demanded commodity.

Education should be our cocoa, gold and oil fields because we unfortunately have none of these. It is difficult for me to understand why we hang our abilities and hitch solely on providence.