General News of 2014-01-23

Education must make students critical thinkers — Anis Haffar

Seasoned Ghanaian Educationist, Anis Haffar, has advised stakeholders in education to introduce instructional strategies that will challenge students to develop critical thinking skills.

According to him, “the professors have to make allowances for particular people or those who have identified an aspect of the course outline to make presentations on it so that they feel involved”.

“If it’s all about sitting and listening to you, and the interest is gone, it’s gone. So we have to be diligent about how we teach young people, especially encouraging them to think for themselves. These are all instructional strategies”.

In his opinion, students must question conventional knowledge and actively be part of the learning process rather than sitting as vegetables and listening to their lecturers without any participation.

Anis Haffar said on his programme Quality Education on the XYZ Breakfast Show Wednesday that, students in higher levels of education are increasingly defeating the essence of proper time management thus the need to engage them in more critical analysis on issues relating to their courses of study.

He observed that a majority of students in tertiary institutions across the country spent most of their leisure time either engaging in needless activities or paying more attention fidgeting with gadgets; a situation he believes does not help their progress in education.

“When I go to the universities, everybody is talking on the phone, you hardly find young people sitting on benches reading which is the norm in other jurisdictions where people sit and discuss issues and so on.”

“Here you find everybody talking on the phone. What is it that you can discuss on the phone for over an hour except that you rumour, gossip or listen to something that only tickles your fancy,” he added.

He advised that students must strive to dedicate their leisure time to in-depth research on their line of studies rather than engage in irrelevant activities.

Anis Haffar’s programme Quality Education airs on the XYZ Breakfast Show every Wednesday between 8 and 9.