General News of 2014-07-09

Bad leadership linked to increasing unpatriotism - Pratt

Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Mr Kwesi Pratt Jnr, has attributed the increasing unpatriotic nature of the Ghanaian youth to the bad leadership and the quest for monetary gains against service to humanity.

“Patriotism does not just arise, people do not just become patriotic, people are conditioned to become patriotic and one of such conditions is the quality of the leadership. If patriotism is scarce in Ghana, it means that good leadership is also scarce”, he said.

Mr Pratt was speaking at the Southern Edition of the National Youth Patriotism Lectures organised by the National Youth Authority (NYA), with sponsorship from the Daily Graphic at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology as part of activities to diagnose the recent unpatriotic nature of the youth and find ways to whip up their love for the nation.

Speaking on the topic, “The Death of Patriotism in Ghana, What went wrong and what needs changing -A Journalist’s Perspective”, Mr Pratt used the failure of the national team, the Black Stars in Brazil as an example.

He said the Greek team donated their appearance fees and bonuses for the building of playing grounds in their country while their Algerian counterparts dashed out their money to the refugees in Gaza. But the Black Stars players insisted on their money and the government had to charter a plane and send the money before they would play the match.

He said reports also indicated that the Black Stars players, who were going to play football matches, were flown in third class but asked if the players would have complained if all the officials were in third class.

“If anybody were to be in the first class it should not have been the officials but the players who were going to play the football”, Mr Pratt said and added that he did not believe that the youth of Ghana were different from those in any other country but it was the leadership that had conditioned the Ghanaian youth to be unpatriotic.

Purpose of education

He explained that currently parents and others advise children to learn hard and struggle to climb the academic ladder so that they would be able to amass wealth, receive fat salaries, build mansions, and drive the best of vehicles. He wondered why Ghanaians would be surprised at the nature of the youth when they were unpatriotic after attaining academic laurels, forgetting that the intuition was for them to be rich and enjoy life after study.

But according to Mr Pratt, this was not the original purpose of education, the real purpose of education “is to acquire knowledge and to use that knowledge to improve the quality of the society. The money must be a by-product”.

He said in other societies, children were taught to acquire educational knowledge to become medical doctors to cure diseases and bring relief to the suffering masses, and “that is why a community in Latin America when HIV/AIDS became pandemic, doctors started injecting themselves with the virus so that they could study themselves and find cure for the diseases. They were ready to die so that they can conquer AIDS”.

Stone age conditions

Mr Pratt said years after independence and claim of development, some Ghanaians were still living in conditions akin to that of the stone age, and mentioned that such people were even living just three kilometres from the national capital, Accra.

He said most of such people had resorted to the use of crude method for their daily life not because they fancies such things but because they walked long kilometres to the nearest health facilities for cure, had no access to potable water, they had never seen blender in their life and walked barefooted, live in mud houses with thatched roofs.