Africa’s Education System Does Not Produce Critical Thinkers – Dr Adutwum

The Minister of Education Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has expressed with great worry the fact that the educational system in Africa does not produce critical thinkers.

This is because the system has tamed pupils and students from asking questions by programming them to only reproduce what teachers taught them during examinations.

He touted what Ghana is doing to change the situation at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York in the United States of America, Dr Adutwum said this type of education cannot transform Ghana and the continent as a whole.

Comparing the situation to his experience in the United States of America, he described Ghanaian school children as good and respectful.

He noted that he has visited a number of schools and anytime he asked the students at the end of his interaction with them if they have a question for him, no hand goes up.

“What it tells me is that invariably we tame the children. We just want them to write down what we tell them. On the day of the examination, they should put down what we have told them and we say you are the best student the country has ever known.”

“That kind of education system will not transform Ghana. That kind of education system is not going to give us critical thinking individuals especially since we are in the 21st century and education 4.0-the fourth industrial revolution.”

“You can’t memorise your way out of poverty but you can critically think and innovate out of poverty.

“So, Ghanaian schools, African schools have to begin to take a serious look at what I call assertive curriculum; a curriculum that empowers the African child to ask questions and challenge the status quo respectively within the African cultural context.

“But, not a curriculum that tells the African child to be quiet and don’t say anything when the adult is speaking and tell the adult back whatever he was told.

“With that kind of education system, I don’t care if we get to the point where every African child is in school.

“If you put all of them in school and do not change the way you teach them by empowering them to be assertive individuals, you have still not transformed Africa through education. We have to make sure we can get the critical mass with critical minds that we need for our transformation,”  he stressed.

Dr Adutwum wants Ghana and Africa to stop taming students and rather help them to be assertive so they can open up at all times and ask critical questions wherever they might find themselves in the course of their lives.”

In the contemporary world, the industry relies more heavily on creative and innovative thinking than memorisation, hence the need for the country to produce critical thinkers.


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