This past week has witnessed what I call, the gradual deterioration of discipline and societal morals among some adolescents and potential future leaders of Ghana. The news has been reported all over traditional and social media, about the lawless and appalling behavior of many WASSCE students all over the country.
Both students and staff of private and public second cycle institutions have all been found culpable. These reported Ghanaian institutions include Tweneboah Kodua SHS, Sekondi College, Nderuwa Jakpa SHS, Bator SHS, Juabeng SHS, Bright SHS, and Kade Senior Technical School.
It is important to note that for a nation to have a long lasting developmental trajectory, there is the need for huge amounts of investments in her human capital. This is what the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has been very passionate about.
It is however unfortunate that the very beneficiaries of this futuristic government initiative, have already started displaying their lack of appreciation and insolent behavior to the government and the good hardworking taxpayers of Ghana. For a much touted government flagship initiative to result in this outcome, there is yet much more to be desired.
But wait a minute! How did we arrive at this situation? What has gone wrong? Is this how the next generation of our “educated” leaders will lead our beloved country? A future of violence and brutality?
During our days in Junior Secondary School (JSS) now Junior High School (JHS), we learnt that there are two forms of education, i.e. formal education and informal education. Where formal education is defined as that which involves going to a school’s premises to learn to read and write, while the latter is primarily associated with education we receive from our homes, communities, and religious groupings.
Both formal and informal education play concurrent roles in shaping the intellects, character and mannerisms of young individuals. While formal education takes care of academic training, informal education has the content of common sense (“efie nyansa”), discipline, hard work, morality, etc.
The family, as we all know is the basic unit of society. This recent development has brought to light the fact that there is obviously something wrong with a lot of families in Ghana. The focus and trend of life has taken a different direction neglecting the most important aspects of parenting. Morality, which is the very fabric of society, has been thrown to the dogs.
Our governments, educational systems, and parents have not properly balanced the scale. We are narrowly focusing on formal education which only makes one come out with a piece of paper we have called a certificate, to the detriment of our once cherished informal education, which formed and shaped the character and values of our young.
But there is no point in crying over spilled milk. Let us stop apportioning blames and politicizing issues of national interest.
It is about time we went back to the drawing board and prioritized the very essential basics in parenting and character formation. Parents and families should not leave all the work for schools to do because that will only churn out half-baked literates. It is our collective duty as a people to think about how we will want the future of our beloved nation to be. Otherwise, we will end up like other countries where the youth can just get up, take a gun and shoot anyone they find on the streets.
Let us always remember that “Manners Makes Man”, and not only education that produces papers called certificates, because like I stated in my previous article titled “Here is Why Employers Should not Use Academic Qualification and Years of Experience as Main Criteria for Job Recruitment”, many graduates with certificates do not put in much work to merit their qualification.
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