Ghana’s Educational System In Perspective


PhotoGrid_1409253658602Education has evolved through diverse philosophical eyes as centuries
and decades are born ?and gradually die out. In my own percipience,
education can be defined as, “socialising people in an environment to
develop their cognitive, and equipping them with the requisites
knowledge to become more adaptable and informed, to aid their own
personal enhancement in terms of attitude, and behaviourial concerns
as well as their immediate enivornment, and the broader community”. It
has thus revolved itself to place a paramount prominence in the
socio-politico?economic and cultural development of both developed and
developing societies. Clearly, no progressively inspired nation on
this sole planet of living (earth) can run the race of development
without the boots of education on feet.

Education goes with a lot of systems and factors as well it
challenges. In Africa and Ghana for that matter, education has been
with the people for time immemorial? thus the informal type. However,
the people on this continent got hold of our present education? formal
type, through various interactions with their colonial masters. Ghana
on one hand, had her taste of what formal education meant through her
formal colonial master, ‘The British’. The British government during
the colonial era, laid down certain systems through which education
which begun in the castles in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) should
follow. This system produced numerous local elites who in one way or
the other helped to later gain independence for this country.

With this nation gaining independence on 6th March 1957, the Nkrumah
government under the leadership of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the
First President of Ghana, made a lot of educational reforms from that
angle. The Nkrumah government in order to foster education in a newly
independent country, brought in certain reforms which sought to purge
out certain anomalies which the colonial educational system came along
with. The Nkrumah government in the 1960’s provided free education,
free school uniforms, free textbooks, and the provision of other basic
educational infrastructural facilities as evident in universities,
colleges, secondary and basic education as part of it reforms. The
same can be written in the cases of, the Acheampong’s government, the
Rawlings’ government and so on. All these reforms were in view to help
better enhance the educational prospect of this nation.

Several years down lane, with many governments rolling in and out, our
Ghanaian educational system still faces a lot of challenges, thus
placing a lot of hindrances in terms of meeting it positive prospects.
The major reforms in our educational system can be dated to the1990’s
when the Basic Education Certificate and the West Africa Secondary
School Certificate? Examinations were introduced under the Presidency
of? J. J. Rawlings.? These reforms brought in it wake new syllabus,
and ushered in a cut in the years of education to three years for both
Junior and Senior Secondary education. This educational system was
however, fraughted with a lot of challenges as in terms of the
percentage passes in the external examinations. These challenges could
partly be attributed to inadequate professionally teachers, teaching
and learning materials as well as other necessities.? In 2007, the
government of Ghana under the stewardship of President J. A Kuffour
made some reforms in the educational system citing various reasons for
doing so. There was introduction of a new syllabus as well, a change
of name from the previous government’s to Junior and Senior High
Schools with three and four years of learning duration respectively
and later years, got another change to the former by President Mills’
government, also indicating various reasons. All these were done with
intents to improve the country’s educational system into one which
could solve the problems at hand.

It is however sad to note that all these reforms having been made,
have not holistically and wholly done any thing worthy enough to
better the lot of this country’s education. What is worrisome and
vexatious about Ghana’s education has to deal with the huge number of
failures that comes with it? that is, failures as in candidates
failing their final external examinations, thus unable to get
admissions into either Senior High/Technical Schools or Tertiary
Institutions depending on ones level of transition. The rate at which
students fall victim to this situation has become chronic and
cancerous. The situation has risen from worse, worst and now at
supposedly an ‘uncurable’ one for that matter. Various interventions
have been made and are still been made, yet this high failing rate of
students in both Junior and Senior High Schools in Ghana has become a
cumbersome mathematical problem with no solution.

As a graduate of this same system in 2013 of Senior High School, I
feel it is important that a matter so cogent like this and been
discussed all over in Ghana in both print and electronic media by
people who ‘presumably’ think have solutions to salvaging it, I add my
naive thoughts as well. Whether we would continually swim in decades
of crude reforms or make cupboard inferences of changes construed to
our educational system I think would amount to nothing less than what
we are already facing. Genuinely, it would be very prudent for the
various time leaderships of this country to distant politicking from
our education. Education is an all involvement methodologies and must
be deemed apolitical. This is the first thing which adversely impinges
on the prospects of our nation’s education system and must be eschewed
as such. Plunging this nation’s educational soft-underbellies into
‘cheap’ political gimmicks only has the potency of worsening the
circumstances we are already facing.

Again, sound educational research worth making to identify,
accommodate and finding lasting solutions to the problems militating
against the prospects of our educational system in terms of the high
failing rate of students must be conducted. The government and the
various bodies in charge of our educational system such as the
Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service and the likes must
be actively involved in this, and the needed impetus given to
researchers when demanded. This I perceive will help logically and
critically identify the real bottle-necks weighing us down and find
realistic modalities of finding root solutions to the root causes.

Teachers on one hand do complain bitterly about the insensitiveness of
our governments, all because salaries and conditions of services are
below their work rate. In Ghana, from all indications without an iota
of doubt, the teaching profession is the least respected and
cherished. Conditions of service in this profession is so poor to the
extent that it instantly demolarises the spirits of teachers. Some
teachers have to make sacrifices without any reasonable compensation
from the government. Those in charge of this situation must make
deliberate efforts to solve this situation for, “we do not use an
empty stomach to blow the horn of cow”, thus says an Akan traditional
proverb. The government must also do well to provide all the needed
teaching and learning materials. The teachers must also endeavour to
put in much effort and not lazy around idly to teach students to the
very best of each learner’s learning ability.

Parents play key roles in the academic development of the learner.
Most parents due to pressures of life and high economic burdens become
reluctant in supervising the progress of their ward(s) education.
Hardly would a parent even go to the school in which their ward(s)
attend to assess their performance, and when the unfortunate should
happen im terms of fails, they kick it to the face of the teachers.
Parents must however, avert their attitude towards their childrens
education and also provide them with the basic necessities which can
compliment their education. The needed moral support must also be
given to students by both parents and teachers.

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