We are producing ‘dangerous elements’ in society by playing politics with education – Ablakwa
Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has cautioned that political parties desist making a ‘joke’ of the one key element vital for the developmental process of the country; education or risk producing ‘dangerous elements’ that will eventually destroy the country and stall its progress.
Mr. Ablakwa, speaking to Ghanaweb on the sidelines of the 7th John Evans Atta Mills Commemorative Lecture Thursday noted with worry how that development and quality education has been compromised because politicians and leaders in the sector have decided to put the nation’s interest aside and push their own agenda through the introduction of reforms which barely have been thought through and evaluated.
“Look at the short history of Ghana, we have had 13 major educational reforms and yet there is still demand for more reforms and yet, there is still demand for more reforms. We clearly cannot continue this way where every new political party assuming power decides to tinker with education without solid research, without sound basis to proceed”, he said.
Adding; “In this country, we like to do the things that will quickly get you the accolades that everyone can see on the face value, and you can quickly get the votes, when they attain 18 years, they can say thank you Mr. politician but we may rather be preparing dangerous elements in society because there is nothing more dangerous than somebody half educated”.
Affordability and access he says, seemingly have become the focus for government rather than quality and equity among other things. The two elements he believes, though important, will ultimately cost the nation much more if the ingredient of quality is undermined and ignored.
“Often we look at just access, affordability, we are not focused on quality, we are not focused on quality, we are not focused on equity, especially quality, what is the competitive edge of products we are churning out?. The students that we are preparing for the next generation in this globalized village, they are going to compete with their counterparts all over the world, how are we ensuring that the ingredients of quality are prioritized”, he stated.
Rather than focusing on the immediate glory and political gain attained by merely introducing ‘shallow-thought-through’ reforms in the educational system, he deems it mandatory that the interest of the citizenry and the general good of the country be the foremost priority of every leader in Ghana.
“Those who seek to intervene in education should not only be looking at the now, they should be looking at generations and they should be looking at generations and they should be looking at what society we want to build and what Ghana we want to have in the near future, a Ghana that will change the narrative, a Ghana where we can, on our own, add value to our natural resources”.
“I do hope that all of us in the leadership of the country, members of parliament, those in the executive, education policy makers will reflect that after 13 reforms, it is time not to be toying with education and just announcing policy interventions that are not sustainable, that will not stand the test of time, and that will also just focus on one principle in education”.
“Instead of half educating people, invest in quality, we should invest in quality, the things that may not be popular outside, that may not be obvious out there for people to see and praise us as political leaders but what matters that will eventually give us the breakthrough that we need”, he added.
The 7th John Evans Atta Mills Commemorative Lecture came off on Thursday July 18 under the theme; "Inclusive education for sustainable development".