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A temporary history of science education in Ghana

Science education is the cultivation and disciplining the mind and other colleges of a person to utilize science for bettering his life, cope with an more and more technological world, or pursue science academically and professionally, and for dealing responsibly with science related social issues (Akpan, 1992). Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast, was the primary African nation to the south of the Sahara to gain political independence from colonial rule in 1957.

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This former British colony of 92,000 sq. miles (about 238,000 sq. kilometers) shares boundaries with three French-speaking nations: the Cote d’Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north and Togo to the east.

The Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean is to the south of the country. EARLY HISTORY OF EDUCATION BEFORE INDEPENDENCE As was the case in plenty of colonies through the early colonial period, the primary aim of schooling was to ‘make civilization march hand-in-hand with evangelization’ (Anum –Odoom, 2013). This statement provides a clear description of how schooling in Ghana was implemented at that time.

The formal, western-style schooling in Ghana is immediately associated with the historical past of European activities on the Gold Coast The Portuguese were the primary Europeans to reach on the Guinea coast in 1471. Their intention to establish colleges was expressed in imperial instructions that, in 1529, encouraged the Governor of the Portuguese Castle at Elmina to show reading, writing, and the Catholic religion to the individuals. It is imply confirmed that the Danish, Dutch and the English retailers also arrange faculties of their forts and chateau to educate their mulatto youngsters by native women.

Unmistakably linked to the implementation of formal education in Ghana with the Christian missionaries, who realized that to have the ability to spread the word of God, they wanted well- educated local assistants. Following the consolidation of the coastal region because the British Gold Coast Colony, the administration turned extra aggressive in pursuit of its educational coverage. This was precipitated by the British purchase of the Danish property at Christiansborg in 1850 and the Dutch Elmina Castle in 1872.

To assist redress problems faced by the mission schools—such as coaching native teachers and enhancing the standard of education—the administration made grants to both the Wesleyan and Basel missions in 1874. In the Educational Ordinance of 1882, authorities grants to denominational faculties were made depending on an evaluation of the extent of effectivity. The faculties receiving grant-in-aid were defined as “government assisted colleges,” but their major funding was to come from the missions themselves and from different personal sources. On the Gold Coast, the appointment of Brigadier General Gordon Guggisberg as governor brought its own advantages.

During his tenure from 1919 via 1927, Governor Guggisberg initiated a number of main developmental applications that included instructional improvements as a crucial ingredient in his development of a contemporary Gold Coast. While the previous administration had seen the availability of elementary colleges by the varied Christian missions as sufficient, Guggisberg was of the conviction that the current system couldn’t maintain future developments. In reality, only a few months after his arrival, the governor presented a 10-year growth plan for the Gold Coast.

Among other issues, funding was aggressively searched for publish elementary education for boys and girls. Even although the administration proposed a technical faculty for Accra, the Prince of Wales College (now Achimota College) was the actual trophy of the administration’s academic program. This non denominational faculty catered for students from kindergarten to the pre college degree. THE BIRTH OF SCIENCE EDUCATION The inadequacies inherent within the system of schooling were noticed within the post-World War I attraction made by the Foreign Missions Conference of North America to the Phelps-Stokes Funds for a evaluation of the state of schooling in Africa.

The Phelps-Stokes Commission on Africa issued reports in 1922 and 1925 in which educators had been criticized for inadequately catering to the social and economic needs of the continent. The fee of which James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey was a member, referred to as for instructions within the mechanical operations needed for the development of the condition of the mass majority of the people. This included science education and character training. The Phelps-Stokes fund’s based in 1920, is an African Education Commission represented one of many early makes an attempt to hyperlink black Africa with Negro America.

The try and forge this hyperlink represented a concerted policy on the part of numerous missionary and philanthropic groups in the United Kingdom and the United States to draw attention to what appeared to be analogous situations-politically, socially, and economically. Ghana is claimed to be the primary impartial sub-Saharan African nation outside South Africa to embark on a complete drive to advertise science schooling and the applying of science in industrial and social growth (Anamuah-Mensah, 1999). Science Education after Independence

After Phelps- stokes fee had pushed for the birth of science education in Africa generally and in particular, Gold Coast, there has not been any clear reduce nationwide policy for science education in Ghana updated (Ahmed, 2013). Dr Kwame Nkrumah who aimed toward attaining Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education instituted an Act known as 1961 Act, (Act 87) . This Act was to make Basic schooling free and Compulsory and anybody who fails to send his or her child to high school was made to pay a fund by the Minister for schooling.

The schooling system at that time consisted of six 12 months of major education, adopted by four-years of secondary education. At the end of the four years appropriate college students went on to do a two-year sixth kind course that might result in a three 12 months University course. Students, who weren’t suitable to proceed, accomplished two- yr of pre-vocational lessons. The Nkrumah government inspired the learning of science by instituting a particular scholarship scheme which enabled science and agriculture undergraduates to enjoy scholarships somewhat greater than those of their counterparts in the humanities. This facility was withdrawn after 1966.

Science and mathematics academics were additionally paid a little more than their colleagues within the humanities. (Djangmah, 2007) The Reforms The seven 12 months improvement plan instituted by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was brief lived. The system was later regarded as too lengthy and too educational. Thus Dzobo Education Reforms of 1974 saw a reform of the system, instating the Junior Secondary School (now Junior High School) on an experimental basis. The Junior Secondary School introduced practical topics and activities permitting students to amass occupational abilities, which after an apprenticeship result in the qualification for self-employment.

Due to a broad range of factors such as the financial decline, paperwork and sheer lack of curiosity the JSS-system never went beyond the experimental part. By 1983 the education system was in a state of crisis. It faced drastic reductions in Government financing, lack of instructional supplies, and deterioration of school constructions, low enrollment levels and high dropout charges. With the help of several development partners (World Bank, Department for International Development (ODA) and worldwide grants) the education system was reviewed and proposals had been carried out in 1987 known as Evans-Anfom reforms.

In 1987, Ghana’s Ministry of Education launched a restructured academic system that progressively replaced the British-based O-level and A-level system. The transition was accomplished in June, 1996, when the final class took A-level exams. The last O-level exams had been administered in June 1994, although a remedial examination was offered by way of 1999 (Keteku, 2013) The 1987 Reforms had strengths in addition to weaknesses. One of the strengths was that it supplied a comprehensive Basic Education which improved entry to education for extra kids of school-going age.

Junior Secondary Schools have been supplied all through the nation and this helped to extend literacy ranges. The reform also introduced Continuous Assessment which formed part of the final examination. This ensured that inner assessment in faculties was included in the ultimate examinations and this ended the single-shot examination current within the old system. The Anamuah-Mensah Report beneficial comparable structure of education identical to the Evans-Anfom Report of 1986.

The distinction was the inclusion of two (2) years of Kindergarten education as part of Basic Education and Apprenticeship coaching for leavers of the Junior Secondary School who unable to or do not want to proceed in the formal sector. The implementation of the Anamuah-Mensah Reforms started in September 2007, and it was faced with initial issues. These problems included delay within the supply of syllabuses and textbooks for the graceful take-off of the programme, and teachers were not adequately ready by means of coaching to implement the reforms.

These issues were later dealt with because the implementation of the reforms progressed. The subsequent major drawback being anticipated is the inadequate school rooms and other services as college students will enter the fourth yr of Senior High School in September 2010. The Way Forward For Science Education Promotion of science education within the country will rely upon three drivers of change, specifically, funding, instructing and interventions, and research (Akyeampong ,2007) Funding Knowledge isn’t low-cost. Science, technology and arithmetic information required to maneuver the country into the information society can never be low cost.

Government’s commitment to science schooling must be demonstrated in the degree of sources allotted to science and know-how. Laboratories and workshops in the faculties, teacher coaching colleges, universities and polytechnics ought to be properly outfitted and new ones constructed to think about the growing pupil population. Research The data society thrives on the creation of latest data. Research supplies the means by which new information is created. Resources, both materials and human, for research in science and technology are woefully inadequate or non-existent.

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This has had a profound impact on the development of post graduate analysis in the universities. A variety of measures must be taken to strengthen analysis in science and know-how in order to meet the demands of the country. The following are being advised: •Research in analysis establishments and the colleges ought to be adequately funded. •Most researches carried out in the universities are those that interest the researchers and are hence supply-driven; the Government should challenge our scientists and supply funds to carry out analysis on problems confronting the nation.

This can be carried out by way of the provision of research funds to be competed for by all scientists in the nation. •Establish a National Science Research Facilities Centre outfitted with world class specialised facilities which are normally expensive and therefore beyond the technique of single institutions, to provide alternatives for Ghanaian researchers to carry out scientific analysis and growth and retain local researchers as well as appeal to international ones. •To enhance the standard of science education in any respect ranges, research in science and know-how should embrace research on educating and learning science, technology and mathematics.

•Institute special awards for greatest researchers and science teachers. This might be termed the President’s Award for Science to be given yearly. We must have fun achievement. •Set up a formal scheme for mentoring the Youth- This is important to the event of a career path in science for the youth. Mentors excite interest in junior colleagues and assist them to “walk the path”. This experience is however uncommon in the universities. These days, newly recruited scientists struggle to keep afloat with little or no help.

A formal mentoring system should be established in all institutions to guarantee that younger scientists recruited into the colleges or research establishments are hooked up to professors and senior scientists in their fields of research to obtain recommendation and support. The mentoring can take the type of joint research, publications and shows at conferences and seminars. •To elevate the level of awareness of science and expertise innovation (research) and foster a synergy among schooling, industry and research institutes, a project known as SMART.

MOVES in some nations ought to be established in secondary schools. This project will contain encouraging schools through visits, shows and seminars to work on downside solving initiatives with support from the neighborhood. The tasks might be assessed and college students with progressive and creative tasks might be invited to present their projects at a Junior Scientist Conference which will be attended by senior scientists who can later act as mentors for the scholars. Prizes will be given to students primarily based on the quality of project and presentation.

The Ghana Academy of Science and Arts can take up this. Conclusion The vision of the National Science and Technology Policy is: “to support nationwide socio-economic development objectives with a view to lifting Ghana to a middle revenue standing by the 12 months 2020 through the perpetuation of a science and technology culture in any respect the degrees of society, which is driven by the promotion of innovation and the mastery of recognized and confirmed applied sciences and their utility in industry, and different sectors of the economy”. (MEST, 2000)

This vision can turn into a reality when science training is given a boost in any respect levels of schooling. It has been advised that the promotion of science training hinges on three pillars – funding, educating and intervention, and research. Without sufficient funding, quality lecturers, supportive intervention actions and research to light up our understanding, science schooling could have no impact on the everyday lives of Ghanaians; and the remark made by the National Development Planning Commission will remain true.

Our national imaginative and prescient for science and know-how might be due to this fact be meaningless. REFERENCES Ahmed, M. (2012). Ghana to launch National Science coverage. Retrieved 4th October, 2013, from http://www. ghanaweb. com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel. php? ID=235350. Akpan, O. E. (1992) Toward Creative Science instructing and studying in West African school. Ghana: catholic Press Akyeampong, K. (Centre for International Education, University of Sussex, England) in his lecture on “50 Years of Educational Progress and Challenge in Ghana”, at Parliament House, London, England; 2007 Anamuah-Mensah, J.

(1999). Science and Technology Education in Ghana. A paper delivered on the National training Forum on the theme: Towards Sustaining an Effective National Education System, held on the Accra International Conference Centre, Accra, 17-19th November. Anum-Odoom, A. K. M . Educational Reforms in Ghana, 1974-2007. Retrieved on 12th October, 2013, from http://www. ghanaweb. com/GhanaHomePage/blogs/blog. article. php? blog=2091&ID=1000004125- Djangmah, J. S.

Clarifying Ghana’s national imaginative and prescient for the applying of science and expertise to improvement. Retrieved on 12th October, 2013, from http://www. ghanansem. org/index. php? option=com_content&task=view&id=234 Keteku, N. W (EDUCATIONAL REFORM IN GHANA: THE SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL). Retrieved 10th October, 2013, from http://www. bibl. u-szeged. hu/oseas_adsec/ghana. htm Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST) (2000). National Science and Technology Policy Document. Accra: MEST.

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