What if Kelvin Odartey (B.E.C.E graduate who manufactured car) fails ?

JHS Student Car 8 18-year-old JHS graduate, Kelvin Odartey with his manufactured car

Wed, 23 Sep 2020 Source: Cephas Kwaku Debrah

As we have it in this country, interesting stories usually emerges from the yearly West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) written by students.

This years own have not been an exception as we have witnessed dynamic of incidents. One fascinating among them is the story of an 18-year-old Junior High School (JHS) graduate, Kelvin Odartey who according to sources has manufactured his own Bugatti-like car.

The innovation by this youngster has won the admiration of most people including renowned Ghanaian automobile manufacturing company; Kantanka who revealed on their Facebook page they are in search for him.

After reading various news items about this guy, I then thought to myself, what if Kelvin Odartey fails any of the core subjects which I do not wish such to happen, would that be the end of his ambition to be an engineer? Also, has our educational system been structured in such a way to unearth and promote the talent and crafts of students?

Or does it just encourage unnecessary competitions among students where the standard of measuring one’s level of intelligence is by the person’s ability to ‘chew and pour’ ‘dito dito’?

Trust me, had it not been the recognition that social media have given this young man, a student who is getting a distinction in his subjects will be classified by his peers, teachers and even society as more promising than Kelvin Odartey.

Our society has dimmed and killed so many talents, passions and dreams because we are made to think good grades on an A4 sheet (certificate) is the only indication of a brighter future and the classroom is the only place to receive an education.

So many students that might be exceptional in other talents have resorted to suicide because they couldn’t measure up to the definition of society.

Imagine how our world will be if great minds such as Michael Faraday, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Dell and Charles Darwin succumbed to prejudice and tags of failure from their society when they were struggling with mathematics.

Good grades are good and I do not seek to downplay the importance of seeking formal education but I believe so much that our educational system should be structured to appreciate other talents and help unearth the God-given gifts in our wards.

The art of teaching should be an art of assisting discovery but not competition because each one of us was uniquely created.

Our educational system must not suppress the natural talents and gifts of children to mindlessly follow careers which our society deem dignified but rather guide students to bring out the creativity in them and enable them to become critical thinkers who do not only read the works of others to reproduce but can think outside the box and be innovative.

Columnist: Cephas Kwaku Debrah