The Executive Vice President of Unilever Ghana- Nigeria, Yaw Nsarkoh has called for a broadened access to quality, affordable education in Ghana.
Speaking on the theme “A PEOPLE DIVIDED-THAT ALL MAY BE ONE” at the maiden edition of “Achimota Speaks” held at the Ghana Academy Of Arts And Sciences on Tuesday 31st January 2016, Mr. Nsarkoh said a clear system of affordable state/public education has to be developed to cater for all irrespective of social class.
“Education is a lever of social mobility – the seeds of education give rise to the fruit and flower of capability in the citizen. Education is one of the most revolutionary forces known to humanity.” A system, a society, and a people, that expects the children of the poor to always remain poor and bring forth offspring condemned to poverty soon explodes. For this social calculus, however, much we seek to paint it as a natural order and a divine division of labor does not work. We have become a people, separate and unequal, divided in a way that inoculates the comfortable from the misery of the not so comfortable” he said.
He continued “We must act to broaden access to good quality but affordable education and that means a system of affordable state/public education. And that means, let us be absolutely clear, a system of affordable state/public education. One that can assure solid preparation for all, on merit – rich or poor, peasant or patrician. So long as potential intellectual capability exists”.
“There is nothing wrong with an expensive system of private education for those who can afford it with legitimate and ethical earnings. It is wrong to stigmatize ethical prosperity. But there is everything wrong with the denial of good education to the majority of our compatriots in the name of whatever -ism. Education is a necessary propeller of the craft of development and of high culture in any civilization. Education, properly deployed, has the capacity to evacuate the horror chambers of extreme poverty of its neglected occupants” he added.
“The sole purpose of education is not the accumulation of gold. Education enables civilization. Our society and civilization require the artistic and analytical capabilities of the novelist, the poet, the artist just as much as it does other fields. Those who argue that our development endeavor should focus only on vocational and technical knowledge miss the point. For we set out to build a civilization not just an efficient construction machine. The sciences and Arts, the plumber and painter all find useful contributions to make in a holistic civilization” Mr. Nsarkoh noted.
“Achimota Speaks” is a monthly symposia designed to share Achimotan thoughts on various aspects of national discourse. This initiative forms part of activities to mark the 90th-anniversary celebration of Achimota School.
Click here to download the full speech.
Report by Desmond “Pappy” Tawiah