Technological innovation and Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) represent a way for developing world nations to foster economic development, improve levels of education and training, as well as address gender issues within society.(Lee-Roy Chetty)
So yes, I know one or two people who have been indoctrinated into believing that success only comes by passing the WASSCE and BECE examinations in West Africa. Truth is, some have become so frustrated in their bid to do that. What is even more disturbing is the fact that most of those who work tediously in the “chew, poor and pass” business still fail miserably prior to the exam because they indulge in the “copy copy” business too.
Times since the 1950’s have changed and I think our standards of teaching and learning should be tailored to suit the current demands of our continent. I dare say that WAEC has outlived its usefulness to the African student. I don’t understand why we should continue sitting under a tree that no longer protects us from the rays of the sun. Whats the use of teaching THEORY BASED ICT when students come out of junior and senior high schools without the requisite knowledge to navigate through a simple windows 7 powered computer. Funny and provoking was the recording of an ICT teacher IN A PART OF THIS COUNTRY who could not even get the meaning of the letters in the acronym right. Many districts in the country have not even fully inculcated the early childhood part of primary education following our recent educational reforms. Things are not as they should be.
The confusion with the four year and three year system only led to more candidates for the infamously famous “NOVDEC” exam and left many students at home with dashed hopes of getting into a high institution of learning. The issue here is not the high rates of student failure, but whether or not students are actually being taught and examined on the information needed to move forward.
” the question for Ghana is whether meeting the demands of the global market should be a central aim and a guiding philosophy for our educational system. I believe that the net success of any educational reform in Ghana need not be measured by the comparison of our educational products with other nations on the global market. In fact, I argue that such a goal or philosophy is irrelevant for Ghana, until our educational products are transformed into a unifying current for our redemption from hunger, disease and poverty within our local communities; and I underscore local communities. This goal or philosophy has been missing from our educational thinking for a long time.
The Nkrumah government sought in the beginning to facilitate the emergence of a Ghanaian population that would be literate and employable in the new nation Ghana. Our educational system and its products were to become, in Nkrumah’s vision, a pioneering example of an educated and skilled population running an emerging healthy African industrial economy- an answer to Europe and America, and a fountain for our true emancipation.”(Dr. Ahmed Bawa Kuyini)
Since the Nkrumah-istic vision has been achieved and people actually get degrees that translate into daily bread,its time to move on. Lets forget the Potag and Utag fuss and concentrate on changing our system to train students with practical skills to resurrect the cedi and turn Ghana into a technology empowered country. I was very impressed at the good job the founders of Jobberman did in Nigeria. Born out of frustration of the usual strikes by lecturers ,a hub for finding jobs was created by two guys. Today the site is visited by 50,000 users each day. Technology created a company and helped thousands find jobs. Thats what we need to teach our youth to help minister of Employment and Labour relations, Nii Armah Ashitey.
We need to bump up IT to help us compete with companies like Nokia,Samsung and the Apple. It seems to me that the computerization program that was set to use ICT to enhance learning in the country was mismanaged and its effectiveness is very questionable. We can’t stay in a deal that does not help us deal with our challenges as a nation.We need to start encouraging more engineering, and a more invent it attitude.
I don’t agree totally with Ghanaian educationist,Prince Hamidu Armah who believes that the Basic Education Certificate Education (BECE) has become a major impediment to access to secondary education and should be cancelled (http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2014/September-11th/cancel-bece-educationist-recommends.php).
I believe that even at the basic level,students should have a sense of accountablity,and testing their knowledge only helps them take lessons more seriously. However, I agree that more work needs to be done by our policy formulators to create more practical based materials instead of boring kids with theories that they don’t find relevant to their
immediate environment.I also agree that something should be done to boost the WAEC certificates issued to secondary school graduates which appear to be sub-standard as holders are required to take foundation programmes before entry to undergraduate degree courses at UK universities.
To sum up, I wasn’t quite pleased with this year’s BECE and WASSCE results, but I think it is only a symptom of the unsoundness of the theories we force into our brains in our current WAEC run school system. As part of making plans to become a better country,lets consider investing in the IT development of our young folks to help them reach across borders to bring business solutions and socio economic development.
When the tune of the music changes, so does the steps of the dancers, we need to bump up IT and get out of the age long pact,its killing us.Stop dancing our fortunes away with WAEC.