In today's fiercely competitive world, it is imperative to surpass the mere pursuit of education or vocational training. The sole focus should not be solely on obtaining certificates, but rather on courses that can provide job opportunities and a means of sustenance. It is vital to select educational pathways that offer practical skills and knowledge that are in high demand in the job market. Instead of pursuing courses solely for the sake of academic qualifications, individuals should carefully consider the practicality of their chosen field of study and its potential to provide a sustainable livelihood.
By choosing courses that align with job prospects, individuals can ensure they possess the necessary skills to secure employment and support themselves.
There exists an urgent need for a radical overhaul of the school curriculum. Currently, we are still instructing students in basic concepts like "A" for Apple ?. However, many students cannot relate to the concept of Apple. Why not introduce "A" as Akple, "B" as Banku, and "F" as Fufu?
For instance, in my village, if we ask students to differentiate between bathing and showering, it becomes evident that many have never seen a modern bathroom in their lives. Furthermore, the practice of penalizing students for speaking their native languages in schools should be reconsidered. In reality, teachers should be explaining complex concepts and teachings in the students' native languages to facilitate better understanding.
The emphasis on "Critical Thinking" needs reinforcement. It is astonishing that in basic schools, students are afraid to ask questions. As a visiting teacher, I was taken aback when I noticed that students felt uncomfortable when I did not have an immediate answer to a question. They expected me, as a teacher, to know everything. This mindset impedes the development of critical thinking skills.
There should be a greater emphasis on technical and vocational trades in our current economic dispensation, as opposed to an exclusive focus on academia. It is illogical to produce thousands of managers annually when there are insufficient companies, industries, or manufacturing jobs to accommodate them. Rather than proliferating universities, existing technical and vocational institutions should be upgraded, drawing inspiration from the German dual system. This system enables practical and theoretical learning to run concurrently, preparing students for real-world job scenarios. Ghana has approximately 100 universities, producing graduates with uncertain job prospects.
More career Counsellors should be trained to guide students and provide advice on courses relevant to current job markets. Additionally, there should be a stronger emphasis on STEM education to equip students with the skills necessary for success in the modern world.
Moreover, wayside artisans should be upgraded and provided with the necessary theoretical knowledge to complement their technical expertise. For example, a Ghanaian tiler may excel at practical tasks but may lack knowledge in acquiring materials, leading to excessive purchases and wastage. Most of these artisans struggle to calculate the exact materials needed for a given job. Then again, they have a very bad finishing.
Producing an excess of expensive engineers is unnecessary when technicians can adequately perform the required tasks. Business people seek cost-effective ways of completing projects and often prefer engaging a technical expert rather than multiple managers supervising a small number of technicians. In Germany, most companies prefer hiring those trained on the job over graduates. Trainees are paid less but possess practical know-how compared to graduates who require on-the-job training.
The development of our human resources should be based on market demands. We should not pursue education merely to acquire certificates that cannot sustain us.