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Review curricula to produce innovative graduates

BY: Daily Graphic

In the recent past, graduates from our universities formed an unenviable association known as the Unemployed Graduates Association of Ghana.

As is to be expected, the graduates came out of the various universities with high hopes of landing jobs mainly from the government. However, that hope was short-lived as most of them found themselves back home after their mandatory national service.

So they decided to form a pressure group and that birthed the association.

Really, we cannot blame them, paticularly, because of some of the courses most of our universities offer.

The curricula some of the universities run give no room for students to be creative, think outside the box and, indeed, prepare to establish themselves after school.

Well, the situation is not peculiar to Ghana, but also to other African countries, as was articulated by the Secretary General of the Association of African Universities (AAU), Professor Olusola Bandele Oyidowole, at the maiden edition of the African Academic and Heritage Fair in Accra on May 27, 2022.

On that occasion, the professor did not mince words when he called for the review of the curricula of our universities to help produce innovative graduates.

He justified his call by saying that the universities needed a system that would produce young people with a different orientation for a new market.

The Daily Graphic believes that the call by the Secretary General is timely and managers of universities must begin to take a second look at the courses they offer in their respective institutions.

It is in this regard that we commend the managers of our educational system for turning the attention of learners to science technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, and technical vocational education and training (TVET).

Surely, the government’s direction of education with a focus on TVET and STEM is the way to go if we as a nation wish to rub shoulders with other countries globally.

The current unemployment situation worldwide truly calls for a sober reflection on the programmes offered in our tertiary institutions.

We need critical thinkers and skilled individuals who will complete their courses, set themselves up and become employers and not employees.

We need critical thinkers who will use their knowledge to reshape and inject new ideas to improve themselves anywhere.

The current situation is that a fresh university graduate thinks he or she can do “anything”.

We agree with the professor that our universities need the kind of curricula that will mould our graduates to stand on their own; graduates who are innovative.

These are the graduates African universities must focus on producing if we do not want to continue to lag behind and remain at the beck and call of the developed world.

It is only by developing our own human capacity to take charge of our needs that Africa can free herself from the grip of the developed world and be able to speak her mind without looking behind her shoulders.

Until this is done, we shall continue to go to the developed world with cap in hand and these countries in turn will dictate to our leaders what such funds should be used for.

It is time we focused on our homegrown policies as Africans in order to decide on what we actually want to do and not what our development partners want.

It is our hope that this interest will not fade with time, but will mature to enable Africa and, for that matter, our country to design a development agenda using home-grown policies.