Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Ghana’s minister of education, has voiced concerns about the manner in which students are taught and learned in classrooms across the continent of Africa.
He saw that students are not taught in a way that encourages critical thought and questioning.
This condition, he claimed, cannot guarantee the 21st Century development that is required at a time when others are formulating novel concepts to create.
These remarks were made by Dr. Adutwum on September 22 during the “Transforming Education” Summit at the 77th General Assembly of the United Nations.
He questioned the rationale behind regurgitating numbers and letters just for the purpose of reproducing same in the examination hall without any idea of its impact on the real world.
The Bosomtwe Member of Parliament remarked, “I visit many schools and chat with the pupils. After I’ve finished, I’ll ask if they have any questions for me.
And nobody raises a hand.
In every school I have encountered in Ghana, I have yet to see a hand raise.
We’ve tamed the kids; now we only want them to record what we say. On the day of the exam, they should write down what we said and declare that they are the best students the nation has ever produced.
“That kind of education system will not transform Ghana that kind of education system is not going to give us the critical thinking individuals especially since we are in the 21st Century.”
“You can’t memorize your way out of poverty but you can critically think and innovate out of poverty” he stated.
“So Ghana schools, African schools have to begin to take serious look at what I will call assertive curriculum, a curriculum that empowers the African African child to ask questions and challenge the status quo.”
He is adamant that this trend is troubling and backwards-looking, especially in a time of rapidly advancing technologies and STEM education.
Mr. Adutwum advised African schools to instruct students using the Assertive Curriculum method.