Chapter Arrangement and Introduction
Ghana is currently a democratic republic, but Ghana has had a rather turbulent political past. The political atmosphere has constantly been changing. Having started as a land with many independent tribes, Ghana became a country with the scramble for Africa in the 19th century, later she gained her independence from the British colonialists and started her own political journey.
After freedom from external oppressors, Ghana went through many political upheavals mixed with democratic dispensations, one-party governments and dictatorships. Each of these governments had an effect on Ghana’s economy.
As we sketch the political history of Ghana we will zero-in on the changes in the educational system during the time and draw out the relationship between the educational system and the economic development of Ghana. The two questions that shape this paper and will be answered at the end are:
1. How has the educational system of Ghana developed over the time?
2. What has characterized the relationship between the educational system and Ghana’s economic and political development?
There will be a close look at the roles that individuals have played in shaping the educational, political, and economic systems. The reason for this focus on individuals is the lack of a consistent political system over the years in Ghana. The leader of each government was usually very influential especially, in the era of military governments. Every government that took over seemed to put aside the existing systems and start over with new systems and new ideologies.
1.1 Chapter Arrangement
As stated earlier, the chapters have been tailored around the prominent political leaders of the time. Guggisberg, a British governor, is the first leader to be examined in this paper because his perspective of Ghana seemed very different from his predecessors. Ghana, for him, was more than just a colony; she was a nation with people that had potential and needed development. For
this reason, he mapped out a development plan which he carried out until the day he handed over.
The main educational landmark of Guggisberg, that stands today is, Achimota School.
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first Ghanaian president of Ghana, sought to take his nation to the highest heights possible. After bringing Ghana through the independence struggle, he wanted to show that, in his own words, the black man was capable of managing his own affairs. This propelled him to do as mush as he could in every sector. He also drew development plans for Ghana and finished some of them in record time. Dr. Nkrumah left behind the legacy of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, a number of secondary schools and many other national treasures such as the Akosombo dam.
Dr. Jeremiah1 John Rawlings has been the longest reigning leader in Ghana. His era was characterised by a military government that metamorphosed into a democratic government. He instituted the most radical change in education by changing the educational system from the colonial British system of education to the Junior Secondary School (JSS)/ Senior Secondary School (SSS) system currently in Ghana today.
Quantitative data for each regime would have been the ideal basis for comparison; however, this is extremely difficult considering the limitation with regards to data availability. In sections where relevant data is available, it is used. However, qualitative analysis is more frequently used in analysing each regime. Nonetheless at the beginning of the Nkrumah, Cocktail and the Rawlings chapters there will be a graph depicting the GDP per capital over the period and a brief the description of the economic situations of the time. In the chapter The Way Forward, there will also be an overall graphical depiction of GDP per capita as a percentage of the world.
The next segment of this introduction will give the reader a simple introduction to some thoughts on education.
In chapter two, the theory chapter, the link between education, politics and economic growth is established. This will be examined from different perspectives such as the role of education
1 Often called J. J. Rawlings or Jerry John Rawlings
according to the United Nations (UN) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Other ideas on education and its relevance will be analysed. Other issues that will be touched on include what holistic education should be. Through the analysis, a framework is created that will be used to asses the various educational changes made by each government.
In chapters three to seven political time periods are analysed more closely in terms of education, politics and economic growth. Chapter Three will be for the early colonial time until 1919.
During this time there are educational developments linked with the slave trade, colonial rule and missionaries. Chapter four looks at Governor Guggisberg’s years in office and his remarkable contribution to education. Notes will be taken on what happened after he left, up until Ghana has her independence. Chapter five examines Dr. Nkrumah’s contribution to education. Chapter six will browse through a turbulent history of democratic governments and military regimes. This segment will not be detailed. The purpose of Chapter six is to acquaint the reader with some changes that explain Ghana’s situation as at 1979 which begins the seventh Chapter. This last segment of the political eras focuses on the nineteen year reign of Flt. Jerry John Rawlings (now Dr. Dr. Jerry John Rawlings2). These five chapters will describe the situation, and analyse the effects on economic growth.
Chapter eight takes an exclusive look at the development of university education in Ghana.
Political changes have not affected university education much, that is why it is examined separately.
Finally, in 2000 the newly democratic government appointed a committee to review the educational system in Ghana and make recommendations. The recommendations that have been made are currently what prevail as the governments guide to improving the educational system.
Chapter nine will look at the present recommendations that have been made, what has been overlooked and what the way forward in Ghana’s educational system is. The question here is:
What should Ghana do for education to improve the educational system? At the end of this chapter will be a conclusion of the entire paper.
2 He has resign his position in the army and has had two honorary degrees bestowed upon him.