• The others train you to forecast, but our scholars train you to forecast accurately in the capital market

Numerous  experimental research, conducted by renowned experts and credible Institutions on the African continent, concludes that most of the developing countries like Ghana and others, need a reform in their educational system to have a significant effect in their economic growth through industrialization, this call for a need in fresh thinking.

Rajni Kothari (1985) World order model project, exposit “It is not simply by altering the economic basis of rural-urban relationships, that a more just social order will be created. We also need to alter the cultural underpinnings of the present patterns of dominance and disparity. An important aspect of the sharp duality of life styles and living standards found in most poor countries in the nature of educational system whose aim continues to be produce colonial type gentlemen disoriented from larger society and constituting a class apart”.

In most ex-colonial countries, formal education was initially meant to produce elite, mainly to fill the ranks of bureaucracy, the law-and-order established and in some countries the technical positions in the public administration and private enterprise. This orientation still persists in a large number of these developing and under developed countries in spite of the achievement of independence and in some of them in spite of the political elite’s commitment to democratic and socialist ideals, Education far more than property or income is the bases of privilege in these societies. Meanwhile a majority of the population continues to be illiterate and unskilled while the ranks of the highly educated in the urban areas keep swelling.

Empirical observations from this areas suggest that, whereas expansion of literacy and primary education produces very rich and rapid dividends, after a point, higher education turns out to be a huge waste. Acquisition of a minimum education level greatly raises a person’s skills and his capacity to enter the employment market. It also raises his sense of potency, his ability to relate himself to the outside world, his sense of political efficacy, his general self-confidence and sense of dignity.

In contrast, an undiscriminating expansion of higher education beyond the absorptive capacity of the economy produces an alienated class that is unable to relate meaningfully to the rest of society. Rapidly inhabit various levels of the bureaucracy making it increasingly inefficient and insensitive to the needs of the people and with growing unemployment in its ranks, lose self-respect and becomes aggressive.

This polarization between a large mass of illiterate and totally unskilled and hence unemployed people on the one hand and a class of people who are over educated and hence also unemployed on the other, is a natural culmination of the hiatus between the elite and the people, between parasitic cities and depressed country side. We must alter this condition by a major allocation of resources, to mass literacy, primary education and adult education programmes by giving special attention to the economically weak and social handicapped strata whose major avenue of mobility seems to be education and by a re-orientation of the job market so that employment to a large spectrum of non-technical jobs is available to those without college degrees thus deflating the importance of higher education and the disparities that result from insistence on degrees.

Higher education itself needs to be reoriented by restricting university education to what its logical role is; namely to provide a basic grounding in main source of theoretical knowledge and to develop a vast network of functional education located in the vicinity of institutions and enterprise where knowledge is to be used. Except for a few advanced courses for specialists, these should impart intermediate skills through short-duration programmes, for use in the rural and semi urban areas where the real work is. Only thus can the present spectacle of the highly educated queuing up for jobs in the cities while the village are starved of technical manpower be brought to an end.

In my opinion the universities in the developing countries are too far oriented to liberal arts and general science training and do not give adequate attention to technical education in that process lost their character. It is the function of the University to train the minds of its people and provide basic analytical skills for facing concrete problem in life. The fault lies in the fact that Universities are turning engineers & technicians, economist and it related social scientists who are basically illiterate and who are taught from obsolete text dumped by multinationals publishers into the colonial markets. Graduate come out of these mass factories wholly unprepared for dealing with the problems they are likely to encounter in their work within the geographical area located.

There is the need to look upon education as a political process, upon the attainment of degree or diploma as a social good that must be capable of being socially used and upon the relationship between education output and available work as part of a conscious plan of development. Higher education instead of becoming an instrument of class privilege and exploitation and a source of disparities must be made an integrator of human resource and human needs.

There is also need to undertake a major review of the whole institutional approach that has accompanied the modern view of education, classroom-based, bookish graded and located in large campuses in large cities. This approach needs to be replaced by a closer relationship between education and work- including intellectual work where education is sought for scientific and literary pursuits. And by bridging the gap that divides the location of one from the location of the other. It should be noted that Institutionalization of the principle of equality among men as a condition of justice is an area where politics and economics intersect.

For me schools and Institution must go where the people are, not the other way round. Unless these various aspects of the educational scene are approached with some perspective on the changing social reality, it is difficult to see how the deep cultural barriers that divide different classes and accentuate economic disparities can be overcome in developing and underdeveloped economies. Education can be made to bridge these gabs or to accentuate them. The need is to move from the latter orientation to the former.

 

Reference

Rajini Kothari (1985) Footsteps into the future; Diagnosis of the present world and design for an alternative. Institute for world order.

Article written by Emmanuel Tweneboah Senzu, Professor of Frederic Bastiat Institute Cape Coast Technical University Ghana. Fellow to MTC-Global Think-Tank affiliate Universities

 

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