When we recite our national anthem, we ask God to bless our homeland and make our nation great and strong.
God, in His mercies, has blessed us in diverse capacities to become the strong country we have always prayed to be.
However, you and I would agree we are not as strong as we hope to be. This means that, aside from our prayers, we have some work to do. Education is one of the strongest pillars of every great nation.
As we strive to be great, we need to invest a lot more in our education system to be able to produce world-class critical thinkers who would help make our nation stronger.
Based on my experiences of studying in the United States (US) for six years, I would like to provide some form of assessment of our education system.
The education systems of the US and Ghana are obviously not the same due to cultural and logistical reasons.
The US has made some great strides we must admit. However, when I came to the US in 2016, I was marveled at the number of Ghanaians I saw on campus.
Guess what? Ghanaians kept keeping every year and they still come in their numbers up to date.
Interestingly, you would hear most of these Ghanaians denigrating our education system. When I hear them criticizing our education system, I ask them one question.
Why would a top academic institution in the US admit so many students from Ghana if our education system is that “bad”?
I have always argued that our education system is not as “bad” as some people portray it. Of course, I agree we have work to do.
We can definitely make it better. If we would depoliticize our education system, invest properly in it, and admit top candidates into our teacher training colleges, we would be a force to reckon with.
If even in its “bad” state, Ghana is able to produce these many students I see in top institutions, imagine if we pushed a little bit more.
I am in no way condoning mediocre. I have taught in elementary schools in the US and the teachers in these schools have at least a bachelor’s degree; master’s and Ph.D. holders are teaching elementary school students.
Can you imagine? The US invests a lot in basic education because they believe in laying the right foundation.
Surprisingly, I have sat in education classes with Americans and you should hear how they criticize their education system. It’s interesting, isn’t it? What should this tell us? There is always room for improvement everywhere.
We are not where we want to be, but with the right attitude and mentality, we will be amazed at what we would be able to achieve as a country. Let’s borrow what we can from the “good” education systems around the world and make them culturally specific.
Let’s provide the highest form of training for our pre-service teachers. Let’s invest more in our education.
Once we start putting such measures in place, our education system will be a beacon for Africa.