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General News Tue, 8 Mar 2016

National mediocrity affecting children's standard - Anis Haffar

An educationist Anis Haffar is worried that Ghanaian leaders are taming the expectations of children when they do not demonstrate high standards in every area of national life.

The founder of GATE Institute for teacher education in English Language skills, and Leadership-Centred Teaching Methodologies fears the effect of embarrassing errors in Ghana@59 Independence Day brochures on children learning to write good English could be damaging.

Social media is awash with clippings of the brochure highlighting the errors in sentence structure and misrepresentations including addressing the Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta as President of the Republic of Ghana.

He is president of Kenya and was Special Guest of Honour at the Independence Day Parade in Accra last Sunday when the 59-year old republic marked its anniversary from colonial rule.

A severe backlash has followed. Anis said the brochures “speak to us as a nation” by reflecting the levels of mediocrity in national life.

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The errors are “just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how we are not brining in brains in this country”, the educationist with 10-year teaching experience in the United States noted.

He said there are sufficient numbers of well-educated and well-informed people in Ghana who could have produced an error-free brochure for the event.

Anis Haffar regretted that experts are not valued enough to be contracted to do work because partisan considerations often go into the choice of a service provider.

Nonetheless, he wants the embarrassment to draw attention to the educational system. Whoever made the mistakes must have gone through basic, secondary and tertiary education, he explained. The errors, therefore, can be identified in the systems that train Ghana’s children, he indicated.

The focus of any concern should be directed at the youth because they look up to their leaders in every sphere of life for guidance.

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“Grown-ups can take care of themselves. But children are the weakest element in society”, Anis pointed out.

Mediocrity, he suggested, has a domino effect on the upcoming generation. “The problem for me is that we are depriving the youth of the best that Ghana can be”, he noted.

The use of short-hand as the dominant communication style on social media is partly responsible for corrupting the quality of writing, he noted.

“We have to prepare them for what is acceptable and what is unacceptable”, Anis Haffar.

Source: Myjoyonline.com