Aug 01, 2013 at 4:49am
Development And Educational Reforms In Ghana
COMMENTARY ON THE DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATIONAL REFORMS IN GHANA

The connection between educational and political development is one that is often ignored, but it is the story of education in this country which underlies how Gold Coast became Ghana. Sometimes, the best loss is to gain and vice-versa. Education is where individuals learn and gain knowledge. Facts established can change, but the truth never changes. The reformers must seek an educational environment that nurtures individual growth and development. The reformers must consider the values of privacy, dignity and worth of the individual and bring skills consistent with these values into the educational system. The individual will accurately represent his/her capability, education, training and experience and act within the hallmark of his/her professional competence. A reform is a decision-making process which is more important than the decision. A lot of such processes were evolved by Sir Gorden Guggisberg in 1925. But technological advancement has compelled the reformist to ignore old ideas. If not for interference, local educational administration would suite Ghana, and encourage advice on local needs, policies and plans. In 1927, before Guggisberg left the Gold Coast, he said “Do not let the – often fictitious – urgency of your desires of the moment obscure the vision of what is best in the future for your children and your children’s children. And when the house of education is complete, enter into it and take to the full opportunities for enjoying the benefits thereof.”

Caution goes to teachers and people of this country to support those who are building the house of education. Government is also urged to support fully such schemes by providing resources in education, through well motivated staff with emphasis on social responsibility and economic reward. It is an indisputable fact that all the educational reforms in Ghana were initiated long ago. The reforms are contained in Guggisberg 1925 sixteen Principles of Education and the Accelerated Development Plan of 1951. Matters of educational reforms in Ghana are hastily executed. The educational policy planners are fast at constituting committees on reforms. Reforms have metamorphosed severally and the planners tread cautiously not to provide evidence of failures.The executors are therefore left to dance to the unknown tune. There is hue and cry about teachers and UTAG strikes. The subjects that involve some practical components have already started. The West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination this year is in two phases with four and three year tier students writing the same examinations. Is this what the reform can do? Teachers would be seen carrying the “monkey” when the results are published. Here, no one needs talk about infrastructure, instructional materials, inadequate contact hours, and class sizes. The continuous educational reforms are at the neglect of the Accelerated Development Plan (1951) and Guggisberg (1925) sixteen principles and Education Act of 1961. Reforms are not bad but the frequency of it is the question. The incessant cry of government and the inability to motivate the teacher is another reform that needs to be addressed. The incessant cry of teachers at all levels is a matter to diagnose and deal with. One dares say that the teacher and pupil population is the cancer that is often ignored. But is that the panacea to the problem? One is of the view that the class size for the teachers to manage is de-motivating. Thank God private schools have come to augment the school population. We cannot achieve quality education with the present limited infrastructure. We must fix the problem. He who runs away from a fight lives to fight another day.

BY: JONAS ANBAZU UDS.EDU.GH UNIVERSITY FOR DEVELOPMENT STUDIES, SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH SCIENCES, TAMALE.
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