An Education Observation
The common justification for low academic achievement levels in the United States is a lack of resources. I never agreed with this notion. That is not to say that the lack of resources is not an issue, because it is, but the major problem I see is the lack of educational value. In Ghana, it is completely the opposite.
During my trip to the motherland I had the opportunity to visit several schools throughout Ghana. The school that stood out to me the most was the one I visited in the Gomao Village. Children were packed into small classrooms, 60-70 at a time, with no electricity or running water.
Any light the students received came from the sun. Three to five textbooks shared amongst an entire class of over 30 students. The school’s recreational facilities were usually trivial or nonexistent. There were no bathroom facilities in the entire village, let alone the schools.
Most parents lack the finances to send their children to better, private institutions. They must make do with the limited resources in their community.
What is even more shocking than the actual institutions, were the opportunities that existed after graduation. After speaking with the Queenmother, who leads the community alongside the chief, she explained that the Gomao community had an unemployment rate of 100%. Not one individual in the entire village had any form of employment. Any type of agricultural surplus is used to trade for other agricultural products. The lack of resources and opportunities is truly apparent in Ghanaian society.
On day 25 , August 5, 2012, we visited Cape Coast International. The visit was extremely eye-opening. We discussed Black American stereotypes of Africans and vice-versa. One student raised her hand and very warily asked, “Is it true all the blacks shoot and love drugs?”
The same issues existed at the Cape Coast International School as the Gamao schools. I was extremely humbled and amazed at some of my observations and conversations that I experienced while in Ghana. There is plenty of work to do and I’m elated that MPAGE and her alums remain active in the struggle against poverty and its effects on the human race.
Written by Mohammed Joseph
Atlanta Georgia, August 9, 2012