“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often” …these are the words of Winston Churchill. “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource”. ~John F. Kennedy.
Inferring from the afore-quoted sayings of these two great men who have immensely transformed their nations, any logically sound mind will unequivocally consent to the fact that improvement is impossible without change, and the progress of a nation is, if not wholly, somewhat dependent on her Education. In other words, a nation should only look forward to develop provided there are changes, positively. But where primarily? Of course in the education of her citizenry. This posits that the relationship between change, education and national development is highly causal.
The above assertion necessitates the question “Is our country developing?” Is it looking forward to develop in the first place? Well, they say opinions are like noses, everybody’s got one, but if I was to answer this question my response will definitely be a resounding “NO” and I can always defend my position at any point in time without a stutter. I believe your reaction won’t differ from mine.
Being a third year undergraduate student at one of Ghana’s prestigious universities, I can confidently say that most of the courses and programmes being studied in tertiary schools have gone through little or no change since their introduction by the colonial master. This is “common knowledge” to many in academia and even outside of it, but it continues to remain an accepted standard, an embraced status quo which no one seems to be doing anything about.
Most, if not all Lecturers still use the same lecture notes they prepared some decades ago with little or no revision whatsoever, whereas students are still allowed to reference dissertations and research materials dating some three score decades ago. Little attention is given the changing course of society and her needs.
For instance, why should an English Literature student in the university still be studying the works of Shakespeare and Charles Dickens whilst there are contemporary writers such as Harper Lee and J. k Rowling all around? These writers are equally good. For goodness sake, words like ‘thou’, ‘thee’ and ‘thine’ which were used during Shakespeare’s time are nowhere to be found in the main dialects of modern English. Shouldn’t a Geography student be studying how to use the GIS and Remote Sensing software to solve real life problems in lieu of Elastic Rebound Theory of 1906?
In any case, this article is more of an echo than a voice (and it is not the first of its kind), its purpose is to awaken the minds of National Development agencies, policy makers, students and the entire citizenry; it reminds us that until Education, through continual change is aligned with pertinent issues and relevancies of our country’s economy, the hope of development will forever remain illusory.