Dear Ghanaian writer…

Writers are creators, they create with their words.

There was a conversation on my TL where people were asked to mention their favorite Ghanaian novel. Some people complained that most Ghanaian writers didn’t expand their stories well, the drama was too raw and the twists and turns were obvious. I realized something too, the story lines were usually one of these; Pre-colonial Ghana, Colonial Ghana, post colonial Ghana, ananse stories, traditions and culture or bad things happening in our society.

But can Ghanaian writers try completely new stuff? Like create a mythical world,create their own creatures, their own universe? Who would have thought there could be a part of London that was only accessible to witches? Or a whole new world existed behind a wardrobe? Or some people were being ruled by an evil ring? Or better still we could have our own super heroes who will fight all these corrupt and greedy men in society. Stories like these play with our imagination and help us create things we didn’t know could exist. Enid Blyton wrote some great books for children, are there any Ghanaian books children can read and build their imagination? You see people have the Batman/Superman who is stronger argument, you might think its childish but it takes a lot of thinking and imagining and creating (Batman will win though).

All I’m saying is, imagination brings about inventions, some time back, video calls and tablets existed only in movies but now its real.Can Ghanaian authors help us imagine and create? Can they excite us? Can they write stories that will inspire us to become better people and build a better society?

A questioning me,
Anonymous233

ps. My fav Ghanaian novel is Money Galore by Amu Djoleto. I will talk about that book in my next post

The “Educated” Ghanaian

Education in Ghana is “someway”, in fact our educational system is bad, you can even tell by the quality of graduates and ultimately by the kind of leaders we have. I begin to wonder if the education we receive is supposed to make us knowledgeable or get a certificate, but then again, which one is more important to employers and our society, our certificates or what we know?

from google.com

from google.com

To be an intelligent student(shark), you should have a hard drive-like mind, you must be able to chew(cram) your notes. Back in Jhs, I had this classmate who could chew social studies notes WORD FOR WORD(not exaggerating, I saw his paper), he would write the same paragraph in the exam room and no, he wasn’t cheating. How do teachers expect us to beat that especially when we are all different and learn in different ways? Students with photographic minds have it easy, exams questions do not ask you to apply knowledge, they rather require that you rewrite all that the teacher taught you. Your understanding is your problem, it gets frustrating, after a while, all you want to do is avoid failure because you don’t want to rewrite. Let’s talk about teachers, how many people willingly want to become teachers when they graduate? Very few, most people just land the job because its the only option available. We end up having people who failed their shs exams or didn’t get good jobs after their university education teaching kids in primary schools, jhs and shs. The first problem with this is their lack of job satisfaction; no passion or zeal. Also, the “teacher” won’t know enough to teach the kids.

Our educational system has been reduced to a certificate acquiring venture,Students want to chew their notes, write their exams and move on to the next class. They don’t try to learn anything new especially when its not in their syllabus (even the syllabus, they never finish it). Truth be told, the academic system is so stressful and most students who do extra curricular activities like sports have their academics failing. We only do theory stuff,try doing agric,the botanical names to chew alone will make you hate the course but we forget 60% of the Ghanaian population is into agric. We leave farming to the “unschooled” ones who end up using wrong methods and waste resources. Some people say most of the things we learn in school don’t help us in real life; like always being told to find x.

from google.com

from google.com

We were once trying to create a program for a bus which would calculate an approximate time the bus would reach its destination and tell where the bus is at a particular time using a gps device, that was the day the speed/velocity in respect to time and distance equation made sense. But ask us and we will give you the formula gidigidi. There are a lot of practical things we can do with things we learn in class but alas, we must study hard lest we fail our bece or wassce or worse end up doing a “condemned” course  in the university.

Offering “condemned” courses like Physics, Chemistry,Biology, Mathematics, English,etc meant you had failed in the WASSCE but you wanted to enter the university so you chose any course. Some people even say “why are you offering that course? When you finish school, you won’t get any work to do, unless you want to be a teacher”. And the university helps this by lowering the cut off points for these very important courses that shape a nation.  All they want are doctors, engineers, lawyers forgetting these professions have roots in their “condemned” courses.

At the end of the day, some “educated” Ghanaians display astonishing levels of illiteracy which would leave you confused. I know people who haven’t been to the university, have no certificates, but are very knowledgeable. They will tell you, they learnt it on their own.

from google.com

from google.com

We should question our educational system, at least for our children’s sake, are we schooling for certificates or schooling to acquire knowledge?

A graduated me,
Anonymous233