A Solicitor and Entrepreneur, Yaw Nkunim, has called on government and the Ghana Education Service (GES), as a matter of priority, include morality and socio-cultural values in the curriculum for Ghana’s basic level education.
He said civic education should prepare citizens to make thoughtful decisions about the moral issues in their public lives and the resulting responsibilities for maintaining a moral climate that respects the principles Ghana’s rich culture.
From time immemorial, countries all over the world have embraced education as the bedrock of society and impacting social values for beginners was paramount in the teaching process.
In an exclusive interview with Today, he said” “we need an integrated approach to civic education that prepares students to be responsible caretakers of public morality in a democratic society.”
Mr Nkinum’s argument was hinged on what he called “deteriorating moral fibre in Ghanaian society across all facets of life.” He was of the view that manners should be prioritised in developing our curricula, saying that academics alone could not mould the new generation that we were tirelessly working for.
He, therefore, advised the GES as well as government to take a cue from other developed countries like Finland, Japan and China to improve our education system.
“When you go to these countries, it is not the academics that make their students great but the extracurricular activities. From first to fourth grade, they teach them manners, civics and sanitation before introducing academics”, he said.
He said, when these things come in, then “we are working on the three ‘Hs’ – that is the head, heart and hand”, adding that with this, students could be of community importance and the country at large.
Mr Nkunim also mentioned that quest to inculcate reading habits in our young ones, could only be achieved when the system was redefined and enough reading materials were made available, especially to the deprived schools across the country. This, he said should be spearheaded by the GES and strongly supported by the Ghana Library Authority, that way, the future we yearned for could be realized.
Commenting on the Free SHS Policy by government, he stated that the focus should be on the less endowed schools that genuinely need those supports, adding that some parents could actually afford to see their wards through schools without any hustle.
He admonished that the strategy should mean to cushion children from poor socio-economic backgrounds against failing to attend school or dropping out of school due to lack of fees, saying some major policy actions needed to be put in place to improve its implementation.
He discussed that Ghana was not alone in the free education drive, and that “the government of Kenya initiated the Free Primary Education programme starting from January 2003 with a view to enhancing access, participation, quality and internal efficiency of primary education in the country”.
Mr Nkunim however called on philanthropist across the country, to reach out to schools in their various communities, since the burden could not be put on government alone.
Story: Moses Rexford KUMAH