Ghana’s educational curriculum has in many ways failed to practically prepare students to critically think and support sustainable development and nationwide growth. The idea of changing the outmoded curriculum was well welcomed by Ghanaians. According to Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education, the new schools’ curriculum starts in September 2019. The Kindergarten and Primary School Curriculum would be rolled out in the beginning of the 2019/2020 academic year.
According to Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the new curriculum seeks to address the inherent deficiencies in the current curriculum such as content overload, limitations of the objective based curriculum and inability of the assessment system to provide sufficient data on which improvement in teaching and learning could be fashioned.
The old curriculum had many topics that do not support self-development, self-awareness, growth and critical thinking. Students learn mostly foreign history and historical figures. Students were also forced to learn a foreign language without placing importance to local languages of their own.
The entire old curriculum entailed more of theory than practical. However, same way the new school curriculum is flawed with certain critical and practical skills that are needed in everyday life. For instance, General Life skills that would help every student embrace their future, take up challenges, implement change and support innovation with great empowerment towards life, whilst in school and out of school is not fully embedded in the new curriculum. With emphasis on the “no idea” mindset of many Ghanaians that makes assets, human life and talents go waste and destroyed.
General life skills like that of First Aid lessons with practices would see to students being able to take care of themselves and others which would lead to life saving moments at a higher peak. My recent trip to a training program reiterated the need for first aid to be part of the new curriculum. Having been a flight attendant and well vest in first Aid, I was able to save someone by administering first aid. Out of about 200 participants, I was the only one who is knowledgeable in first aid, which I learn out of school I attended for 20 years of my life.
In many cases we are unable to assist relatives or strangers immediately they fall sick or have an accident. Many die due to lack of fist aid…taking cue from when a friend’s dad died because they couldn’t do CPR immediately.
Many people also die from severe bleeding because their rescuers have no knowledge of stopping the bleeding.
Having an experience in first aid, I am able to assist and help in other cases where there is choking, asthma attacks and many others.
Putting out fire and fire Drill
Putting out fire at the start would have saved a lot of lives and property. Unfortunately, many people know little or nothing at all about fire.
Learning how to put out fire stops the fear and assist one embrace the confident and courage to stop its spread and damage.
Fires can be classified in five different ways depending on the agent that fuels them.
Using water on some fires, like Class B and C fires, can actually make them more dangerous.
However, many people are ignorant of these important life saving facts despite the reality that everyone is exposed to fire one way or the other.
What one should do if a fire can’t be put out should all be at our fingertips.
Having been thought about fire and trained to putting it out, I do not fear fire and can always save lives and properties, which I believe that every student must know and therefore recommend it added to the general skills in the new curriculum.
Sign Language to many Ghanaians is only important to the deaf and dumb but this should not be the case. All must learn Sign Language because it helps with inclusiveness of the disabled in society who are breaking barriers all over the world.
Currently, the deaf and dumb are now being recruited at corporate levels and shops.
An example was meeting such persons inside the Game at Accra Mall who assisted me to purchase furniture and also helped with the fixing in my house.
The communication was through the pen down method of writing for me to read and understand him. He also used his phone to communicate with me through text messaging.
I notice learning sign language earlier would have gone a long way to make communication easier and better with him.
Personal Hygiene is another important topic, which ought to be taught in school although the perception is that it’s learnt at home. This in effect would help curb the general sanitation and health problems the country is currently facing. It is an open secret to see an educational institution including the higher educational institutions with unclean environment, dirty washrooms, littering, etc. The issue on sanitation cannot be curbed without education.
Art is a major skill highly overlooked in Ghana. It is taking the hem of the global sector with many youth creating and subjecting themselves to the fields of art; painting, dancing, music, poetry; handiwork: bead making, sewing, and cooking which all enhance learning and contributes to national development.
The solution is a boost to growth in human relations, talents, and additional influence in societal values which causes a country to survive relying on the broad knowledge of its people.
The idea is to nurture them to embrace their inner potential, sharpen their knowledge on basic domestic practices and encourage practice other than theory.
School should be more practical, fun, and energizing especially with the fact that much of childhood and early adulthood is spent in school. This would enhance critical thinking and allow students to understand and know where their skill set is truly imbedded at much earlier stage in life.
We would have to agree if things had begun this way from the past, we would have had more students hone their life skill set to the betterment of the nation.
So while we allow the dust to settle on the new curriculum, we recommend these to be clearly given a thought and included.
We called upon the Ministry of Education to review and include these and other significant topics for good social and sustainable development to enhance speedy development and growth in the nation.
We also applaud the Minister of Education and the Ministry of Education for reaching this far with the new curriculum which we believe is going to greatly change mindsets and enhance nation building.
By African Post
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