I have to promptly and unreservedly thank Mr. Kwaku Atta-Krufi for bringing the glaring logical incongruence – to speak much less about the logical contradictions and deviations – in my article captioned “It is not a Question of Duration but Course Content” to my attention (See Opinions/Ghanaweb.com 6/12/16). If I remember accurately, one or two other commentators also drew my attention to this logical misfiring. I am equally grateful to these commentators.
As I vividly recall, part of this problem inheres in the fact that I was trying to tackle too many issues in one short piece. For example, I was trying to rejoin Prof. Akilagkpa-Sawyer’s argument that when it comes to deciding the duration of our Senior High School system, curricular content was far more relevant than the mere question of whether high school pupils spent three or four years in the classroom.
On the other hand, I was trying to draw in the expert opinion of Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, the outgoing Vice-Chancellor of the country’s flagship academy, the University of Ghana, Legon. I came up short at the latter end of the argument because contrary to my logical expectation, Prof. Aryeetey, at least as conveyed by the reporter whose piece I was sourcing for my commentary, had not delved into a comparative analysis between the content of the curriculum of a three-year high school system and that of a four-year high school system, although Prof. Aryeetey had been quoted as having said that on average, students who spent four years in high school handily out-performed those who spent a year less in high school.
The preceding ratiocinative inadequacies notwithstanding, I still found Prof. Aryeetey’s affirmation of the relatively superior quality of the four-year high school system to the three-year system, so doggedly and adamantly pursued by the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to be more convincing than the stance adopted by left-leaning educators like Prof. Akilagkpa-Sawyer, himself a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana.
What I obviously needed to have done, was to have compared the curricular content of the four-year high school system, as pursued by the Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), to what presently prevails. But I guess the pressure of time and the need to swiftly deal with the flurry of other competing issues, robbed me of the requisite time for research on this critical matter verging on the long-term destiny of the country.
At any rate, I found the four-year high school system, as earnestly advocated by the leaders of the New Patriotic Party, to be more compelling because it was the proverbial gold standard pursued throughout the West, including even resource-rich economies like the United States, with Britain and most of the Commonwealth countries, or the UK’s former colonial territories and possessions, maintaining the same four- or even five-year high school system.
But even more compelling, as I noted in my previous article on this subject, is the inescapably disturbing fact that nearly all the available credible evidence, globally, points to the fact of the decidedly effete and collapsed Ghanaian public educational system.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
June 12, 2016
E-mail: [email protected]
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs