Can this be a proper foundation for the establishment of STEM schools in Ghana?
Whenever I hear our honorable minister of education talking about the establishment of STEM schools and the study of courses such as ROBOTICS, INFORMATICS, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, ENGINEERING among others, I always increase the volume of my television or radio set in order to hear him well. By the time you finish reading this article, I believe you will understand my position on this matter. As you read along, i urge you to disregard my linguistical and grammatical malapropisms. Now let’s move along as I digest the issues with strict impartiality and for you to also share your views in the comments section.
You know, everywhere in the world, education has remained the bedrock of development across the globe. It is against this background that developed countries have made education a topmost priority with focus and a clear sense of direction. Ghana can never be an exception. We have made quite significant contributions in the human resource development agenda on the African continent and beyond. From the precolonial, through to the colonial era and in the recent post colonial and modern world, individuals can do just little or almost nothing without education.
Over the period, successive governments have made relentless efforts in improving the quality of education in the country. Several reforms or policies were implemented which included teacher education and training, teaching and learning approaches as well as the revision of curriculum and content knowledge to be taught in schools. We are living testimonies to the facts of what the outcome of these reforms have been. In my humble opinion, it appears to me that we are still where we were. Nothing concrete and significant has changed in Ghana’s education system over all these years.
Apart from changing the number of years students will attend school at a particular level, changing the name from Junior Secondary School (JSS) to Junior High School (JHS) and same done from SSS to SHS, there is nothing new in the overall educational outcomes of education system. My intention is not to put any blames at the doorstep of any politician or political party. However, every evidence available points to the fact that, there is lack of political will towards making Ghana our beloved country a better place through education.
Indeed, the realities on the ground is far different from what anybody can imagine. But did we as a country come into terms with these realities, accept them and make that commitment to find a lasting solution to the problems in the education sector? To what extent do our policy makers especially in the area of education understand the real situation on ground before formulating and implementing their policies? Here I present only two images of exactly it looks like as a school in some rural communities in Ghana. These are not drawings or paintings but the reality as in where students learn in the 21st century. Are these the people we are nurturing as our future doctors, engineers, lawyers, economists and so on? I can’t believe this is a joke. A joke indeed.
What did they has happened to the school feeding program? No money to pay debts owe caterers? Where did the money go? The fact is most caterers have quit the job without even letting their coordinators know. But even if they have created the awareness of their coordinators, there was nothing to do because the head and tail of the matter is that, food items have not been supplied. So the impact will be that the intended purpose of introducing the school feeding program has not been achieved. Absenteeism, lateness and school dropouts will continue to be the order of the day. So we are still where we were without any change.
Whenever I hear about the establishment of stem schools in Ghana, I get sad. We currently have a situation of empty computer and science laboratories in schools across the length and breath of the country. You can find schools in Ghana currently without electricity connection. Students cannot have benefit from practical lessons due to lack of teaching and learning resource. Yet we talking about robotics, artificial intelligence and the rest. What exactly are we up to? Which direction are we going as a country?
This is once again a reminder to all stakeholders in the education sector that all is not well. And we cannot pretend about it. I know you have also have your reservations about the issues in our education system. In my subsequent write up, I come with some factual suggestions on the way forward as far as Ghana’s education system is concerned.
It is in view of this that I urge you to also use this platform and express your opinions and heartfelt concerns on matters of education in Ghana.