The best description befitting our dear country Ghana is from grace to grass.
Looking back nostalgically, I become dispirited and disheartened how a purportedly great nation such as Ghana, the first born democratic independent country in sub-Saharan Africa, which produced some of the greatest scholars and statesmen on the globe can sink so low as to become a laughing stock within the comity of nations.
Gone are the glorious years when every African wanted to own Ghanaian citizenship and live in Ghana.
Gone are the years when Ghana was the first in almost everything in Africa be it education, sports, music, film and civility which made us the shining star of Africa.
Gone are the years when the Queen of England and all world dignitaries would dance to the elegant Ghanaian highlife music.
Gone are the years when Ghana would wallop Africa in soccer, athletics and many more disciplines, including academics.
These achievements have eluded us and have been taken over by our compatriots we hardly respected.
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Ghana’s achievement story now stands shameful and dismal transforming us from originators to plagiarists.
We have become virtuosos in wrongdoing and achievers of dexterity in deleterious behaviours.
This problem hinges on a disconnect between the aged and the youth where the youth hardly respect/listen and associate with the aged to acquire knowledge and wisdom.
What the aged can view from the ground, the young cannot see from the top of a tree (Nigerian adage).
Our basic problem stems from narcissism and self-praise.
We believe in ourselves as being so good/right that we eventually forget the fundamentals of good conduct and still live on past glory.
This deceitful mentality has crippled and collapsed our nation.
Ghana’s education that was the cynosure of Africa has dwindled chaotically where majority of students in many of our institutions can hardly spell/pronounce words appropriately and do basic mathematics correctly.
Many of the students are oblivious to the geographical locations of various nations and their capitals surrounding us, leaving them disorganised and confused as to locating their compasses.
Civic literacy has gone awry allowing citizens to wrongly defecate, spit and spread filth.
They are noisy and disrespectful with disdain. All these are caused by the prevalence of high-level illiteracy and ignorance due to inadequate education.
The adage that the first shall be the last and the last first is haunting us accurately.
Ghana as small as she is, produced many excellent teachers who managed Ghana’s educational system and again exported teachers all over the world, most specifically to our big neighbour, Nigeria, including the almighty South African region and many more with little difficulty.
Unfortunately, we are now playing the last fiddle not even the second. All deleterious attributes are associated with our beloved country with sarcasm.
WHO’s and UNICEF’s recent findings has placed Accra as one of the dirtiest cities in Africa and soon, we will earn the world cup in this field if care is not taken.
We rank among the highest noise and filth producers per ratio taking into account our scanty population compared to others.
I used to criticise Nigeria profusely for the high-level noise and filth produced some time ago.
A young Ghanaian journalist once told me Ghana would perform more horribly if Ghana’s population were half of that of Nigeria.
Civic education and discipline have broken down completely in our schools metamorphosing into failures and high-level disrespectfulness culminating in a disordered society with associated vigilantism and brutalism. Education entails three spheres of training of the child and these are mental, physical and moral.
What we are experiencing now is only diminuendo mental training as most schools lack grounds for physical training.
Moral training is not only reading holy books but also, and more importantly, prodding the child’s mind vigorously in civic education.
Probably, we must go back to the old educational system which produced better scholars.
Without modern infrastructure in the villages at that time, we managed to beat the white man to his own book in his own backyard.
This will also entail going back for the lyrics of our original National anthem which instilled patriotism in us .
Ghana must wake up from her slumber.
The writer is an ethomusicologist.