Education must consciously build character, values — Prof. Amakyi
A Professor of Education at the Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA) of the University of Cape Coast, Professor Michael Amakyi, has said the country's education must shift its focus to build the characters and values of learners to help build more cohesive social communities.
He observed that moving from the current concentration on imparting knowledge to appropriately focusing on learners' character formation and their transformative abilities was critical to national and global development.
Prof. Amakyi was speaking at a validation workshop on a draft training manual on improving global citizenship education developed by the IEPA.
The project is being undertaken by the IEPA, in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), and partnership with the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) of Ghana.
The participants, including education directors and officers from selected districts in the Ashanti, Oti, Eastern, Volta, Western, Western North, Central and Greater Accra, were taken through the manual for their inputs and subsequent finalization.
Prof. Amakyi said the challenge as a nation had been the concentration of informing the learners with information rather than forming them with the right values.
He explained that the three pillars of education — to inform, form and transform — had been seen as critical to transforming communities, nations and the world.
"The emphasis now in our country is on the inform and less emphasis on the forming and the transformation," he stated.
Prof. Amakyi said the less concentration on the formation and transformation part of education had left the nation with selfish citizens who are corrupt.
"That is the challenge that we are having now. When I acquire knowledge and I am working because I am missing the aspect of forming where I think of the other person, I begin to act in a manner that does not take into consideration what will benefit all of us but rather what will benefit me myself and I. So, the concentration of the information part has brought us where there is so much corruption," he said.
He said education managers must begin to also develop an interest in building learners to understand values, the right character and morals that would help them appreciate each other and the importance of interdependence.
He stated that research by the IEPA indicated that though global citizenship education was being taught in the schools, it was not being taught as a single subject.
Prof. Amakyi said the manual sought to promote civility in the schools, respect and tolerance and using language that promoted the well-being of all pupils and teachers.
"There is also care and assertiveness and confidence themes to prepare them as global citizens," he added.
A participant, Emmanuel Mordzifa Xlorlayeku, said the manual would positively impact learners, while another participant, Sarah Buaka, from the Effia-Kwesimintim Municipality also stated that the workshop had been educative and presented a new challenge for teachers and education managers to educate learners for the future.