Monday, 18 December 2017

Education curricula requires urgent review – Dr Chambas

By John Elliot HAGAN, Accra
A Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas has called for the urgent review of educational institutions in the country to update their curricula to align with the direction in which Africa and the world are going.

He said there is currently a mismatch between industry demands and the education curriculum, and looking at the rate technology is advancing, it is critical that Ghana gets a sufficiently educated and skilled workforce to be able to drive Ghana in that direction.
Dr Chambas cautioned that if these institutions ignore the need for the update, very soon our young people will have irrelevant qualifications that the country will be unable to benefit from.
“We need to give relevant education to empower and equip the Ghanaian youth to be in a position to renegotiate a better spot for Africa in the global world,” he stressed.
Ibn Chambas made the call when he spoke at the maiden annual Ampomah-Martey-Alabi Leadership Lecture organised by the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA).
He stated that local solutions must be sought for local challenges, but for this to happen, we need to encourage and cultivate innovation among our youth.
“It is encouraging to note that there are pockets of this already taking place across the continent, where we can see uptake and use of locally-designed technology, but more of these need to happen across the board, covering the different sectors of our economies, as Africa still lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to introducing innovative technology,” he stated.
The UN representative called on African leaders to undertake strategic reforms, including drastically reducing the size of their civil service in order to halt bureaucratic processes that government agencies adopt in executing their duties.
“African countries would also have to undertake a comprehensive reform of the civil service, aimed at reducing its size by enhancing its efficiency.
“In short, governments must create confidence in their role as a valued and trusted partner of private economic agents.”
He also advised African governments to tackle corruption head on to ensure efficiency and development within the continent.
“National authorities should spare no efforts to tackle corruption and inefficiency and to enhance accountability in government,” Dr Chambas said.
He explained that, for this to be possible, African governments must aim at “reducing the scope of distortionary, rent-seeking activities, eliminating wasteful or unproductive use of public funds and providing the necessary domestic security.”
Dr Chambas, during the lecture, also advised leaders in Africa to seek the views of civil society organisations on economic policies.
“African governments would need to actively encourage the participation of civil society in the debate on economic policy and to seek the broad support of the population for the adjustments that are needed.
“To this end, governments would need to pursue a more active information policy explaining the objectives of policies and soliciting the inputs of those whom the policies are intended to benefit,” he added.
In his welcome address, Vice-Chancellor of UPSA, Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey stated that it is about time Ghanaians changed the way they perceive leadership if we want to see rapid and sustainable socio-economic development.
Leadership, he mentioned, ought to be re-focused to mean integrity, service and sacrifice.
“True leadership should translate into policies that will ensure basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter, access to quality healthcare and education, job opportunities and improved incomes, just to mention a few.”
He reiterated that an educated, skilled and well-equipped youth stock is absolutely critical for a country’s sustained economic growth and development, and it is therefore imperative that they are motivated to be committed and confident to be capable leaders to drive change and solve Africa’s complex problems.
The maiden UPSA annual leadership lecture was under the theme ‘Equipping the youth to renegotiate Africa’s position in the era of Africa’s rising’.

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