Every independent nation has a duty to educate its citizens into developed human resources who in turn serve their nation in developing it. In doing this, instead of leaving every citizen with their biological parents to bear their educational burden, the state mobilizes tax from every individual legible for taxation and invests the money as resource to support the development of every child to the fullest of his/her potential. The understanding here is that it is the duty of each generation to prepare the generations after her enough to be able to sustain the coming generations and to be able to support the generation before her to move on with dignity. The wisdom therefore is that it is in the best interest of a state to build a stronger labour force or the working population as it is on this sector that the dependency sector of the population are to be sustain. The aged and children dependent on the productivity of the working population to move on as these two sectors are less able to do this themselves.
Our start at independence was purely on this footing. I grew into the Ghanaian educational system that is
based on equal access to educational facilities to all citizens. The system was based on the fact that it is
only when every citizen gets an equal opportunity of maximizing his/her educational potential that the best
educational capabilities of the state can be realized. In actualizing this great national dream is the policy
of allowing the individual citizen free access to educational facilities than by how much one's parent can
afford to pay. Tax are properly collected and wisely use with the sole aim of building the Ghanaian child
into our common dream. Scholarships are even employed to encourage us to do more while in no way is the
system allowed to be discriminate against any. Boarding and recreational facilities were put into place
to give us all the best. Public schools grew daily light mushrooms with the ministry of education
equipped in its supervisory role of ensuring that quality education is effectively delivered to the
citizens. We grew with the full consciousness of our responsibility to our nation as our nation makes
sure that we lack nothing in any way or form to hinder our potential. At this time in question, the stock
of our functional public sector as institutions to support the growth of the teaming youths is just as
what most European states boost of today. Building and funding academic institutions were unquestionably
of a higher priority in our national agenda.
The turn started taking its toll when the head of states started yielding to the "conditionalities" of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund whose demand were for the state to withdraw its funding of educational institutions and other social sectors. The proponent of those in support of withdrawal of state funding of the academic sector is that the "mass" educational approach is rather contributing to negative growth of the state. The argument is that if education is cheap, then every dick and harry will be having it that will be resulting in potential employees without industries or employers to absorb them. The World Bank and IMF further argued that it is a wiser thing to do in saving scarce resource of nations that are not being able to honour their external debt than wasting such scarce resources on mass education only to have the same state leaning on external support to sustain itself.
Withdrawing funding from education therefore was one of the bitter pills that came with the assortment of Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) that we unwillingly swallowed. Tuition fees and other educational cost were then gradually introduced as the state withdrew its support. The burden of education on parents began to be heavier and most of the population started falling off the educational pool. The class system then began to take a more pronounce role in Ghana as education then become the exclusive right of the privilege few while to the majority, it is a rear privilege to have.
Having government withdrawing its important role as the bearer of the burden of the education of its citizens while the same government still collect the educational tax from the working masses, the cost of education become so high that most student start looking for external funding to actualize their educational potential. Foreign nations then started stepping in to be funding the education of our children as they advance along their educational quest.
With time, we then started to hear such terms as research funding or foreign scholarships. We heard of Commonwealth
Scholarships, EU Scholarships, Dutch, German, French Government Scholarships, US Government Scholarships, etc for
students with special achievement in higher education. We also become very familiar with multinationals corporations
funding scholarships such as Liver Brothers, Cadbury, Elf, Shell, Coca Cola, etc. In short, these bodies replaced the
state of Ghana in the funding of the education of the Ghanaians with rear abilities.
How then does the trick works in harvesting the African, particularly the Ghanaian geniuses? In the academic arena, both postgraduate student, assistant lecturers and full time lecturers do not only spend time in teaching but are also expected to carry out research work for submission at predetermined interval on the basis of which their academic progress are assessed. All these individuals are expected to submit their research work to a specified department within the university that are collated for national research adventure.
The academic community operate as a sector of the society that research and evolve practical solution of their society's problems and teach others how to do the same thing. The research involve dealing with obvious or assume problems. This starts by identifying the problem, analysing it to expose its true nature, breaking down the whole into simple and separate components, identify and expose potential components of manipulations to influence the problem and coming up with practical solutions, to better the lives of the generality of the society. Having researched the problem, documented it and putting it into practical use, the academician and professional then embark on teaching the society how to make the best use of the proffered solution as well as preparing others on how to do the same thing.
The academic work in terms of the problems for which solutions are to be provided, just as nature itself, is majorly divided into the physical and the non-physical (social).
The academic community is an artificial enabling environment created to deal with problems beyond the day to day half-hazard inconclusive effort of the ordinary man towards problem solving. The academic community work on the principle that problems are better solve when their true nature are known and that most problems are better exposed for their unique nature to be clearly identify. These they said are better done when certain condition exist for which the academic environment serve this purpose. Thus every problem must be taken to its unique academic laboratory or clinic for it to be properly solved. So, truly known problem brings us to their truly workable solution to give us control over our own lives and better chances of existence.
The academic community breed citizens into individuals that put independent of their being first. This community
pride itself as a centre where the freedom of citizens is practically put to test and allowed to flourish over societal
dogma. This community that evolved from the effort of great socio-political philosophers, in their quest to create an
environment of patriotic followers to fight dependency by societal ignorance and in favour of freedom by knowledge,
provided solutions to national challenge that earned them titles. The invention of machines, medicines, explorations
and research into better farm yields are all the work of the academicians as answer to their national call. The case
of African academic community is just something else.
I believe African people become to understand type the education system they got. Ali Kofi's article is illustrated why African intellectuals can't develop pratical things but they are good in theori because it's colonial education system planted in African minds and culture.
Today in Africa for you to be considered an intellectual you must dress, speak even behave like our former colonial masters. If you black and studied in Western countries you're better than African back home. Our former masters still controling us but mentally may be not phisically.
Africa still unable to create its own engineers and scientist who are able to create pratical materials to help African because of colonial education system that Africa are under at moment. African intellectuals are to blame just like African politicien. They're like free slaves!
Thank you, Ali Kofi for your article that it illustrated that we need to change our education system in Africa if we want to progress. If not we'll stay in same position that all Black people and African are at moment that it was created by white people 400 years ago.Feel inferior toward white
Dear, Ali, I Partially agree with your analysis.In most African countries the professionals like prof. and Drs are kept away from administration activities since gun holders always come to the power. The political power is widely held by rebel militants in African countries.
I continue. There are no well developed facilities in African universities to solve the specific problem of their societies. This obligate them to work and live in West and USA.Thus, the major problem to African society is that the political administration is held by illiterate rebel forces.
because of the corruption within our African Governments. mainly they better they own family sending they childrens to the Universities within the country or outside the country, even if those children haven't gain good grade and liveout the kids with better grade who really want futher their educat
people who want to further their education they don't get a chance. that is the reason why we don't have our very own engineers, doctors, scientist, lawyers etc. African government need to work togther to developed the african continent. i know their are people outhere with skills to do something.
I know young people from Africa are frustrated by seeing others developed nations comparing to our nations.We Africans we are not poor but our leaders minds are poor.Most of the leaders we had on 60s right after independence are 1000 times better than what we have now, elected or non no difference!
Please give us more room so we can share our thought, the characters you are offering us are very short. We are on 21 century with abundant of tech bandwidth why your site is too limited like this
other thing is thats africa adopt all the methods of overseas countries and forgot thats they dont have the resouces to implement it to the learners.....we must do what is in our power to do, not to copy
often times we have people write to critices others but when given the same chance they fall below expectation. Kofi I share ur pains but it is vital to look beyond the individual ruler to our general contribution. How well are we doing on that . That is a crucial issue
Colonial education never made Africans to think for themselves and their people besides serving foreign interests, a fool only lets his/her enermy educate their children. It is the case of Africa ever since, many Africans have read thousands of Academic pages, all that is to memorize, many Africans cannot write their own history, it's written for them by their previous colonial powers.
Kofi, I agree with you. We have a lot of Unis in Gh, yet virtually nothing practical comes out of them. KNUST has thousands of students who use the toilet and generate tons of biodegradable waste every day, yet they cant create a biogas digester to give them power and fertilizer, and they sleep in the dark when lights are out. And we call this a University of Science and Technology. What tech?