The Ghana Education Service And Culture Education Delivery At The Pre-University Level: A Critical Appraisal By Michael Akenoo Theatre Critic.
Culture education at the pre-university level in Ghana is the sole responsibility of the Ghana Education Service.
This arduous and challenging responsibility has posed some difficulties to the Ghana Education Service in the context of funding, logistics, efficiency; and the achievement of the set down objectives as far as the Ghanaian culture education delivery is concerned at the pre-university level of the education ladder.
It is quite evident that there is much to be expected from the Ghana Education Service since it set up the culture unit besides its other divisions such as finance and administration, Inspectorate special education etc. This state of affairs is much worrying and needs to be addressed urgently.
It is clear that since the culture unit was set up, it has been continually discriminated against,and given very little attention as compared to the other divisions of the Ghana Education Service up to date.
As a result, the culture unit has continually and consistently been performing poorly and below standard up to date.
In fact, the culture unit has suffered much neglect to the detriment of the realization of the noble objectives for which it was up to achieve. Consequently, it has lost its direction as expected to benefit Ghana as far as the inculcation of the Ghanaian culture among the youth is concerned.
This state of affairs is deplorable and something drastic must be done by the Ghana Education Service now in order to reverse this unpleasant situation; and make culture education delivery at the pre-university level more realistic, meaningful and rewarding to benefit the country.
It is a fact that subsequent directors of the culture unit of the Ghana EducationService had been finding it extremely difficult if not impossible, to efficientlyadminister and run the unit as a result of the perennial problems facing the unit.Infrastructure and logistics are virtually non-existent, let alone the availability of adequate funds to make things move smoothly and easily to achieve ends of various cultural programmes that the unit can initiate and implementto promote and develop the Ghanaian culture.
Based on my critical observation as one who had had the experience of working in the culture unit of the Ghana Education Service as an assistant director and co-ordinator of drama education in the country, this unit needs drastic transformation to put it in the right track for quality and efficient delivery to meet its mandated objectives. The continued existence of thisall importance unit of the Ghana Education Service must be critically reappraised now; and given proper attention that it deserves asfar as the promotion and development of the Ghanaian culture are concerned; or else it ceases to exist to save the tax payers’ money, which can be used in other areas of socio-economic endeavours in the development agenda of the country.
In my opinion, the meagre funding that the unit had hitherto been receiving from the Ghana Education Service’s annual budget is a waste since it practically contributes nothing to promote and develop the Ghanaian culture effectively at the pre-university level of education in the country.
I have taken this critical stand due to my unpleasant experience in working in this unit, which led to my sudden resignation from the Ghana Education Service to undertake lecturing at the University of Education, Winneba, and other tertiary institutions in the country.
However, as a concerned citizen, who has the interest of the country at heart as far as the education of the Ghanaian culture is concerned for a realistic and meaningful progress and development of the country, I will like to make the following suggestions for the transformation of the culture unit of the Ghana Education Service for a better performance and positive results achievement to benefit the country in her development agenda.
In the context of the transformation of the culture unit, the first step to be taken urgently now is to upgrade the culture unit to a division status; and give it priority attention as the other divisions of the Service and furthermore, give it a face-lifting environment in terms of office equipment and facilities as pertains in the other divisions of the Service.
The next step to take is to appoint a highly competent director the person who will be appointed to head the culture unit must have deep interest in culture and also have the zeal and capacity to promote and develop the Ghanaian culture pragmatically and effectively to meet the needs of the Ghanaian youth at the pre-university level of education.
The next step to follow is to appoint subordinate staff who are all well qualified in the area of culture and have the interest , zeal and the capacity to promote and develop the Ghanaian culture among the youth at the pre-university level.
Furthermore, the Ghana Education Service must make available special incentives and motivation packages to the rank and file of the culture division in order to motivate and boost their morale to work very hard to achieve positive results.
The last step to take but not the least in the transformation exercise, is to ensure that adequate funds are always available to support various viable programmes of culture that will be initiated and undertaken by the culture division. This will surely guarantee hard work, commitment and sacrifice from the director and his staff. And this situation will greatly fuel and ginger them to work very hard to meet expectation and the set down objectives of the division.
It must be well noted that the culture of a nation is the bedrock and panacea for her economic growth, development and prosperity since time immemorial as far back as the classical era of ancient Greece up to the present era of the modern world. For instance, the U.S and China today are great powers in terms of wealth, development and prosperity as aresult of their highly developed cultures. The same reason can also be attributed to the other great and prosperous nations in our modern world today.
In concise terms, culture can be defined as the typical character, life style and behavior of a group of people in a particular geographical area on earth. In fact, everything that a group of people do for their survival and livelihood becomes their culture. Thus, for a group of people to progress and advance in knowledge, enlightment and achieve economic growth, development and prosperity, invariably depends on their culture that they have envolved and developed for themselves.
Ghana must become more serious and pay special attention to the promotion and development of her culture, so that she can experience optimum eonomic growth, development and prosperity in the shortest possible of time from now in the present 21st century.
The Ghana Education Service has been mandated to promote and develop the Ghanaian culture at the pre-university level; and this is why as an important government organization, it must be up and doing to contribute realistically and meaningfully to the development agenda of the country.
The Ghana Education Service has not been found wanting in the other areas of education delivery in the country; so it must wake up now in the area of culture education because as pointed out in the foregoing, culture is the pivot and the sine quanon for the development of countries in the past, present and in the future, for that matter.
In the implementation of the various programmes that the culture division will develop, it must ensure that it follows them up with comprehensive report in the form of analysis, evaluation and recommendations for the way forward in the future. These reports must be submitted annually to the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service for scrutiny, study and action by way of implementation.
The era in which different programmes and activities of culture such as the annual culture festivals in the various regions of Ghana were undertaken by the culture unit without supporting them with any comprehensive post mortem reports and recommendations for implementation must come to a halt immediately, so that the culture division will become more dynamic, resourceful and effective to enable it to achieve its noble mandated objective to benefit the country.
Every culture is dynamic but not stagnant; and that is why the culture division must be seen to be working very hard to the letter in order to fulfill its mandated objectives.
Again, based on my experience at the culture unit of the Ghana Education Service, I assert categorically that if the Ghana Education Service is really serious and concerned with a realistic and meaningful development of the Ghanaian culture, it must immediately turn the present unit of culture into a division status; and follow this up with the other suggestions that I have made in this article.
The Ghanaian culture is highly crucial in the developmental agenda of the country at the moment; and the Ghana Education Service must realize this stark truth, and act accordingly in the interest of Ghana. The Ghanaian culture can no longer be thrown to the dogs to jeopardise the development of the country/
In conclusion, I am optimistic; and hence forth; wish the Ghana Education Service well in its handling of the priceless and invaluable Ghanaian culture to benefit Ghana realistically and meaningful; for culture, is the sine qua non for any realistic and meaningful development anywhere in the modern world today.