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African Education System Does Not Produce Critical Thinkers – Dr Adutwum Laments

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Minister of Education Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum has expressed great concern over the fact that the education system in Africa is not producing critical thinkers.
This is because the system has tamed the pupils and students from asking questions by programming them to only reproduce what the teachers taught them during the exam.
While extolling what Ghana is doing to change the situation at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States of America, Dr. Adutwum said this type of education cannot change Ghana and the continent as a whole.
Comparing the situation to his experience in the United States of America, he described Ghanaian school children as good and respectful.
He noted that he visited a number of schools and whenever he asked students at the end of an interaction with them if they had a question for him, no hands went up.
“It tells me that we always tame the children. We just want them to write what we tell them. On the day of the exam they should write down what we told them and we will say you are the best student the country has ever known.
This kind of education system will not change Ghana. This kind of education system will not provide us with critical thinking individuals, especially when we are in the 21st century and education 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution.

“You can’t memorize your way out of poverty, but you can think critically and innovate out of poverty.
“So, Ghanaian schools, African schools need to start getting serious about what I call assertive curriculum; a curriculum that enables the African child to ask questions and challenge the status quo within the African cultural context.
“But it is not a curriculum that tells an African child to be quiet and say nothing when an adult is speaking and to tell the adult what he is told.”
“With an education system like this, I don’t care if we get to the point where every African child is in school.
“If you put them all in school and don’t change the way you teach them by empowering them to be assertive individuals, you still haven’t transformed Africa through education. We need to make sure we can get the critical mass of critical minds we need for our transformation,” he stressed.
Dr. Adutwum wants Ghana and Africa to stop taming students and rather help them be assertive so that they can open up and ask critical questions at any time, wherever they find themselves in the course of their lives.”
In today’s world, industry relies more on creative and innovative thinking than memorization, hence the need for the country to produce critical thinkers.
Four Cs education
Students who are critical thinkers achieve the realization of the four Cs of education – collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication, making them competitive in the global marketplace.
A learning nation
The Ministry of Education said it was on course with the government’s plan to transform Ghana into a “learning nation”.
More reforms
To improve education in Ghana, several reforms are needed by the government.
Strategic plan of education
This ambition is enshrined in the Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2018-2030, primarily in response to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 4) and revolves around improving the quality of “education for all”.
Building national capacities
The main objective is to improve student learning outcomes and ensure the overall impact of education on national capacity building and socio-economic development.
3 key objectives of the Strategic Education Plan
The ESP 2018-2030 has three key objectives, namely improving equitable access to and participation in inclusive education at all levels; improved quality of teaching and learning and education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to produce fit-for-purpose students and graduates at all levels and sustainable and effective governance, funding and accountability for education service delivery.

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The Department has also developed an electronic monitoring system – the Fidelity of Implementation (FOI) Monitoring System, which is used by key stakeholders to monitor implementation progress, identify issues and take constructive decisions to improve implementation and accountability.
Ghana Project Accountability and Learning Outcomes
The Ghana Accountability and Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP) is also underway to encourage stronger collaboration to improve its education system.
Further reforms
Infrastructure development, teacher training, targeted teaching, parent involvement, textbook reforms, principal training are some of these reforms.
The first ever national standardized test
The first ever national standardized test organized by the ministry for pupils of four primary schools has revealed that Ahafo, Bono East and Bono regions, which were formerly together as Brong Ahafo region, have emerged as a strong base for lower primary education.
After the maths and English language test, P4 pupils in the Ahafo region achieved the highest average scores of 67% in English and 58% in maths, while pupils in the Bono region scored 65% in English and 55% in maths. in the Bono East region with a score of 58% in English and 50% in Maths.
The Volta Region showed the lowest average scores of 34% in English and 27% in Mathematics.
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