The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has stated that the substandard nature of Ghana’s education system has failed to produce problem-solving graduates hence the need for the country to chart a new path.
He is worried the current education system has made graduates depend largely on other peoples’ inventions with no direct relation to localised problems.
Otumfuo is thus, calling for an educational system that will focus on innovation and creativity.
He made these remarks at the 6th Quadrennial and 53rd National Delegates Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), in Kumasi on Monday 3 January 2022.
“In the new digital age, Asia is out there competing with the West for global economics superiority. They have done this through the educational system designed to stimulate creativity and innovation to produce creators and inventors,” Otumfuo said.
“By contrast, our educational system has turned us into a vastly expanding market of consumers of other peoples’ creations. But while the economics of Asia is expanding generating billion from their creations and inventions, we are putting pressure on ourselves to find resources to consume what others have created. This conference is the first opportunity for our teachers to confront the challenges being posed and pain as it may be to seek how to work together to chart a new path.”
He added, “A number of the challenge is to change from the educational system of …consumers to a system focused on creativity and innovation; a system that will produce inventors and creators so our nation too can find its proper place in this age of science and technology.”
The Asantehene also observed students bear the brunt of industrial action occasioned by disagreement between teacher unions and the government.
He urged the government and stakeholders to improve their negotiations to stop the growing threats.
“It does really gets disconcerting when industrial relation breakdown in education and teachers abandon their classrooms and lecture halls. Obviously, those who really suffer in this are the innocent children. The distress caused to the poor students in any industrial action is incalculable.
“I’m pleased to see that both the Ministers of Education and the Employment and Labour Relations are scheduled to participate at this conference.
Otumfuo also urged all stakeholders to focus their minds on the need for an improved formula of negotiations and consultations which will minimize if not eliminate any recourse to industrial action with harmful consequences upon students, adding “and while we always urge moderation in the face of national economic realities we will urge policymakers to ensure that the status of teachers truly reflects the level of importance we attach to their place in society.”