Parents sometimes do blame their children for not performing well in school. These children may push the blame to their teachers for poor tutoring and the teachers may in turn blame the government for inadequate teaching and learning facilities or materials made available to them. The world is moving at a faster pace into a more powerful era of science and technology and as a country, we are lagging behind. Students graduate without any acquired skill to create job opportunities for themselves. It has been the norm to wait on the government to provide jobs to better the lives of these students after they graduate. It is usually the case of unemployment when the government fails to recruit these graduates into the public sector. Most people affected resort to depending on their parents or pick up social vices.
It is funny but sad how school children learn about science and yet are deprived of the very simple equipment used in its processes. Children are taught functions of a beaker, test tube, flask etc., without seeing any of these in reality. I must ask: “How can one appreciate the use of an object when he or she has only seen the object in its pictorial form?”. To be honest, this approach towards studying and learning could be very stressful for students especially those in the public schools where there are very scanty teaching and learning materials and facilities. Hence, if one is unfortunate to find him/herself in such an institution, he or she ends up acquiring lesser knowledge than expected.
University of Ghana
As a student myself, I must say our educational system rather focuses more on the ability of students to memorize theories propounded by scholars than on practicals. Engineering students graduate and do not even know how to use their expertise to solve problems bothering our communities. It is ironical how we import machines and expertise to solve our problems as a country and yet pass out thousands of students from our universities who we expect to have the knowledge to solve that exact problem we seek to salvage. Year in year out, our universities admit many students to study in various fields of science and engineering. However, these students come out with little or no experience and knowledge in the field, not to mention them helping the country with what they acquired. Yet, they proudly call themselves scientists and engineers and have formed prestigious associations.
Those students who through it all have been instrumental and proactive with their knowledge and skills are often discouraged. Some produce artifacts, machines or come up with ideas that has the potential of benefiting all but are let down in the process. The mass media do not give reverence to the efforts of these students, state authorities do not get in touch with these minds to develop and utilize them for the benefit all.
University of Cape Coast
We need reforms in our education system. Authorities directing the affairs of our education system must put in more effort to promote the practical aspect of teaching and learning which will help students understand the major aspect of what they are being taught to boost their intelligence and creativity. New subjects beneficial to the development students must be enrolled and outmoded ones removed while others that need remodeling attended to.
Adequate learning facilities and materials must be provided and existing ones improved. School laboratories such as those of Science and Information Technology (IT) must be stocked with the needed equipment for the student to utilize and explore.
Maintenance culture must also be highly observed by school stakeholders when these facilities and equipment are in place so as to preserve them and prevent them from deteriorating within the shortest possible time as has been the case in our various educational institutes. Academic road trips should be encouraged to enhance the student’s learning and understanding abilities.
School must be fun and attractive enough to increase the zeal and interest of students especially those at the Primary and Junior High level. Let us not sit idle and watch other countries develop their human resources while we fall short of it.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
Peter the Great traveled to Western Europe; learned their ways and implemented them during his reign in Russia. He did this not to change the traditions of his kingdom nor impose foreign lifestyle on the people but to make Russia a great nation that would be powerful and be able to compete with other great nations. In doing this, he embarked on many reforms which included sending students outside the boarders of Russia to learn and gain new experience. Upon their return, they used their newly acquired skills and knowledge to serve their nation to make life better. Our students may not travel but let us provide them with the needed facilities and materials other developing countries will provide their students.
Let us not be scared of change but rather, embrace it and utilize it to better our lives.
By: Afua Aprakuwa Boafo
Communication Studies Student,
University of Cape Coast, Ghana.