SUBJECT: EDUCATION SYSTEM IN GHANA: A TORTURE
The importance of education to humanity is magnificent. If there has ever been a stage in life that makes us all equal, a stage where a large majority of humans in the society has undergone, then it has to be and, is indeed, education. It has been and will always be an important pillar of our society for development and progress.
“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of a farm worker can become the president of a great nation. It is what makes out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another” -Nelson Mandela-
I wish to congratulate those writing the Basic Education Certificate Examination for your dedication and hard work throughout your period of basic school education. This is the period of reckoning. Over 500,000 candidates are writing this year examination of which 263,295 are males and 246,529 are females. There are 8.9% increases over 2017 figure of 468,060. The candidates are to write this examination within a week which I believe, is an examination torture.
There is no need to subject a child below 15 years to external examination continually for a week before he or she proceed to a Senior High School, determined by the Ghana Education Service and Ministry of Education. Until recently, children were writing 12 subjects with the same 5-days period. The question is, why this academic torture? Is it surprising that for over 20 years since this examination was introduced by the former President Rawlings, we have always recorded 50% failure every year. This implies that this 50% are unable to further their education at the Senior High Schools and Technical Institution, why should this be the case?
Peter Hinssen a Belgian technologist naturally high on change called today’s education system- mark my words- ” Guantanamo bay mental torture”. How do you expect a student to give an account of 9 years in basic school within a week? I know a student who walks 10km to their district centres to partake in the examination. How do you expect such child to learn and write their examination daily? Some write two papers each day, so the question is, how do we expect such candidate to pass the exams and move on to their next academic cycle? The sad part among it is, a student can be in a basic school for nine years but will never get a chance to use a common mathematical instrument but when the time comes for them to write an examination these Mischievous Politicians will go to the various schools and share their mathematical instrument with their pictures customised on it. The question I want to ask them is, how will they use what they have any fair knowledge of?
Must it take a rocket scientist to know that if children have to walk for long distance in search of water when they should be studying, then their passing of the exams will be dependent on the grace of God?
If over 167 communities in Tatale; together with communities such as Kalveo chiana; Otwereso Praso and what have you have no electricity, then will it Not take the grace of God for such children to pass BECE? If according to UNICEF, more than 1 in 5 children in Ghana is stunted meaning, they do not get the right nutrition to enhance their thinking ability, then will it also Not take the grace of God for such children to pass BECE?
A child would have to use cutlass in place of a ruler to underline his work in school, then this is sufficient reasonable evidence of the problems on our hands. Not to talk of those who write without furniture and learn without teachers.
I will end by lamenting on the fact that education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. It is my heart desire that at the end of the examination torture you will come out successfully. You should kindly deceit from from examination malpractices.
Author Information; Amo-Agyei Gideon is a first-year student studying Bsc. Agribusiness Management who believes that activism is the only tool that can change the status quo.