President Mills and members of his administration came to power with their minds made up: Kufuor’s reform of the educational reforms needed to be reformed. It was in their manifesto that the extra year Kufuor added to the duration of the secondary school programme should be done away with. And that’s exactly what they’ve done.
But for BNI’s decision to stop Asamoah-Boateng from flying out of the country (again!) the decision would have been the subject of intense public debate. Was the action against Asabee a deliberate ploy to stop us from discussing the reform of the reform of the reforms? I hope not.
The fact still remains, though, that Kufuor’s decision to increase the duration of the secondary school programme from three to four years was unnecessary and Mills decision to revert to three years is pretty petty.
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The guy who came before Kufuor threw our entire educational system into a complete mess. Kufuor promised to fix it. Yet, in his eight years in power, Kufuor did next to nothing to improve educational delivery – except to change nomenclature (replacing ‘secondary’ with ‘high’) and extending duration of secondary education.
Kufuor (supposedly better educated than Rawlings) failed to deal with the main problems confronting our educational system – ill-trained and poorly-motivated teachers, lack of teaching and learning aids and inadequate classrooms (damn, hundreds of thousands of kids still study under trees and in makeshift structures).
Instead of attacking these problems head-on, President Mills (a teacher, who is supposed to be better educated than Kufuor and Rawlings combined) seems intent on prolonging the needless experiment of educational reforms by reverting to the original three-year duration of secondary education. Watching from the sidelines and seeing their reforms being reformed, Kufuor and his men are peeved. It seems they can’t wait to get back to power to implement their reforms by extending secondary education (once again!) to four years.
I can’t help but feel very sorry for my unborn kids (that’s if God has any plans of blessing me with any). How on earth are our children supposed to be competing with their counterparts from Japan, Malaysia and South Korea when our leaders are failing (or dimly refusing) to deal with the basic problems that confronts educational delivery. It’s not that they do not know what the problems are. They know.
I am sure they can also figure out how to deal decisively with the problems. But they’d rather focus on the inconsequential because dallying serves their interests. The needless workshops and seminars put more money in their pockets. Forcing the children to study under trees and, in some cases, carrying their own little stools and tables to and from ‘school’ everyday means frees up money they can use to buy luxury cars and build plush offices.It is in their interest to keep half of the population illiterate: if you can read, you can’t question how your money is spent. If you don’t have any skills for life (even the promised ‘psychomotor’ skills have not been delivered), you will always grovel at their feet for the crumbs of their loot. Therefore, the system as it stands now is good for them.
So this experiment (with the duration and nomenclature) of the terribly ruined educational system will continue. It started 22 years ago and it won’t end any time soon. I have no hope that the system will get any better in a decade or two. Not with all this foolish talk over duration and nomenclature.
I shudder to think about how my kids will survive in this fast changing world of technological advancement. I can only pray that I get a lot of generous friends (like Rawlings did) who will sponsor my kids to go to schools abroad. It’s the best way for them to escape this shamefully messed-up education system which gets frequently reformed in all but the areas where reform is needed most.