Prof Kaufmann believes Problem of lateness is reaching crisis level

Professor Elsie Effah Kaufmann
Professor Elsie Effah Kaufmann

Professor Elsie Effah-Kaufmann, Dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Ghana, says the habit of lateness among the citizenry has reached a crisis level requiring immediate attention.

She said it was worrying for lateness to be regarded as a norm across all level of the Ghanaian society to the extent that “it has gotten to a stage where you attend an activity on time and you are seen to come too early”.

The Professor, also a quizmistress of the National Science and Mathematics Quiz programme, made the remarks when she featured on the “Timekeeping Dialogue Series 007” on the topic, “Ghana’s

Timekeeping Culture – Reflection of Prof Elsie Effah-Kaufmann”.

Sharing an unfortunate experience with some students, who graduated recently at her School, she said a few students showed up late to their ceremony and were unperturbed by the development.

The situation, she said, was so frustrating and embarrassing that the procession had to be paused for them to get into the hall for proceedings to continue.

That, she said, attested to how lateness had been normalised in the society and also how education of time management had not been impactful in the life of the younger generation.

She highlighted the need for a system that rewarded or put a cost to lateness so that people would be motivated to act wisely.

“If there are consequence for not meeting time, people will fall in line,” she said.

Prof Kaufmann urged participants to make it a habit to boycott events that started late while event organisers must learn to overlook speakers who attended events late.

She said value for rules and structures must also be respected and applied to encourage others to stick to time.

She said people receiving preferential treatment at the expense of others, who wanted to access social services made timekeeping culture a mirage.

“We must resolve to keep time and not victimise persons who uphold the value of timekeeping.

“It takes time, a lot of practice and support system to inculcate time management skills in younger generation, ” she said.

She also called on social scientists to help the country figure out the value cost of lateness.

Mr Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, a former Chair,

National Media Commission, also appealed to the government to put up the needed infrastructure such as accessible roads to support time keeping culture.

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