Reform of education sector vital to achieve SDG’s

PROF. ISAAC K. A. GALYUON

Prof. Isaac Galyuon, Provost, Distance Education, UCC

For Africa to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there must be a paradigm shift in the educational enterprise with clear focus on the curriculum for early childhood, basic, secondary and tertiary education.

Prof. Isaac Galyuon, Provost of the College of Distance Education, University of Cape Coast (UCC), said educational reforms were necessary for Africa, but warned that technocrats should be the drivers of such reforms instead of politicians and their manifestoes.DG’s

Delivering the keynote address at the fifth International Conference of the World Educators Forum at UCC on Tuesday, he wondered  whether manifestoes had become national policies, and charged technocrats to stand up for their rightful place and not sell their birthrights for “pottage”.

He said: “This should not be left to politicians alone. In Ghana, for instance seven years of secondary education was reduced to three years, raised to four years and brought back to three years by politicians just because it was in the manifesto.”

The five-day conference, on the theme “African’s education and the Sustainable Development Goals (2030): Where is the nexus?, is being attended by participants, including academics and other stakeholders in education drawn from across the continent who would deliberate on how to achieve the SDGs.

The SDGs, adopted at the Sustainable Development Summit on September 25, 2015 by UN-member states, are 17 targets to address issues of critical importance to humanity, including  poverty education, inequality and injustice and climate change by 2030.

Also referred to as  the Global Goals, they build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), an eight anti-poverty target which the world committed to in 2000 with the aim of reducing poverty, hunger, disease, gender inequality, and improving access to water and sanitation by 2015.

Prof. Galyuon stated that all stakeholders should be amply consulted to develop an educational agenda reflecting African aspirations, identity and culture, adding “when this is done. Africa will be able to tackle poverty, hunger, environmental degradation and corruption, and develop sustainably.

“We need an educational re-orientation situated in African culture. Educational re-orientation leads to economic re-orientation, scientific and technological re-orientation, and sustainable management of natural resources and the environment,” he said.

He stated that any education that made Africans run away from the continent at the least opportunity to gain citizenship elsewhere was not good for the continent.  “Africa’s education should enable Africans to stay home and fight to develop Africa for Africans and the rest of the world

Touching on education and corruption, Prof. Galyuon expressed worry that  many Africans entered politics to acquire   “ill-gotten wealth,” adding that the educational system should train graduates to abhor ill-gotten wealth and resist the temptation of getting rich by any corrupt means.

“Patriotism should be instilled or inculcated in our graduates so that they love and show some love to Africa. With patriotic citizens, corruption should be uprooted for the African economy to boom and be competitive in the globalised world. We should do everything together as  one people.”

Dr. Mohammed Ibn Mukhtar, of the Africa Graduate School of Management and Leadership, Accra, who delivered a paper on the theme, argued the critical nexus of the SDGs was premised on the implementation communication processes.

 

For smooth and systematic running of the SDGs communication and implementation, he said  there should be a common stakeholder national source to serve as the operationalisation point and that such a national source would constitute the SDGs’ operationalisation hob spelling out its networks.

 

From Jonathan Donkor, Cape Coast

 

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