One social scientist defined education as a worthwhile pursuit. Education should be worthwhile. Our cultural festivals have become a pale shadow of what we used to have.
The same reasons advanced for the shortening of the duration of sports are the same reasons given for the lackadaisical approach to the organization of cultural festivals and the like. Overtime, Ghana has failed to train enough musicians and experts to promote our cultural heritage in the schools. Music and Dance for instance is on and off the time table. In my area in the Volta region of Ghana,the inter circuit cultural festival is held in a day.Activities such as drama,sight singing,cookery contest,exhibition of artifacts, drum language, recitations, choral music, traditional drumming and dancing etc feature prominently.
Sometimes, the event has to be brought to an abrupt end due to lack of visibility.
When a people lose their identity, they get extinct. Simple!
We complain that the youth have assimilated other cultures better than our own.What have we done to stem the tide?A day’s festival of culture held biannually cannot and will not do the trick.That subject should be permanently on the time table. More human resource must be trained to man the subject in the schools. You see,when a people lose their identity, thy get extinct even though they may be existing.
Ghanaian music should be taught from the scratch.We cannot leave this in the hands of the churches and private people alone. What happened to the scholarship given to deserving people to study music in our higher institutions and abroad?Where are the contemporary Ephraim Amus,the Ndors,the Kodjo Tibus who inundated and impacted our local,regional and national scenes with powerful and patriotic compositions such as “Miade Nyigba lorlor la“.
A nation cannot be known just for her popular music.All the other forms of music must come to play.The onus rests on the education sector. I must however commend the North Dayi district education directorate in general and their cultural coordinator in particular for trying to revive Friday singing in schools.This should be replicated all over Volta and beyond.Marching songs are no more taught in many schools. Even,the National Anthem and Pledge cannot be recited well by most pupils in our public schools. It is same for patriotic songs like ‘Yen ara Yasaase Ni’ and the like. Are you surprised that patriotism is on an all time low in this country?I am not.All in the name of effective instructional time utilization. Yet,all we see is a decline in education. Supervision has improved compared to a few years down the lane.So,ladies and gentlemen,the million dollar question is;exactly what is the problem with education in Ghana?
At the inception of this new educational reforms,the Dzobo committee did great work on technical and vocational training as an integral part of the JHS concept. So,subjects such as Technical Drawing and Skills,Vocational Skills and Life Skills were incorporated into the curriculum. Unfortunately, as has always being the case,implementation was and has been faulty.As a people, we are always in a hurry to implement policies which eventually fail.The JSSs didn’t have workshops to facilitate the learning of such programs even though many of the schools received some basic tools.Instead of subsequent governments providing these facilities, they ended up changing the name from JSS to JHS.What difference has the name modification made?I believe that due to this lack of logistics and facilities, they began modifying the subjects too.We have all seen the outcomes. Unfavorable outcomes.