The Executive Secretary of the Institute for Education Studies (IFEST – Ghana) Peter Partey Anti has said students in Ghana seem not assertive because their teachers are also not bold.
He explained that in the event that teachers attempt to be assertive, they end up being victimized.
His comments come at a time the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has said that schools in Ghana and in other African countries should adopt what he calls Assertive Curriculum.
This curriculum, he explained, will empower the African African child to ask questions and challenge the status quo.
In his view, the current way of teaching and learning where students are taught every thing from the text books by their teachers and are assessed in examination, is not helpful.
It does not make them critical thinkers, he stressed.
Dr Adutwum said these when speaking at the ‘Transforming Education’ Summit at 77th session of the United Nation’s General Assembly on Thursday September 22.
The Bosomtwe Member of Parliaments said “I go to schools upon schools and I speak with the students, when I finish speaking with them I will ask, do you have a question for me? And no hand goes up. A hand is yet to go up in all my encounters in Ghanaian classrooms.
“We have tamed the children, we just want them to write down what we tell them, at the day of exam they should put down what we have told them and say, you you are the best student the country has seen.
“That kind of education system will not transform Ghana that kind of education system is not going to give us the critical thinking individuals especially since we are in the 21st Century.”
He added “You can’t memorize your way out of poverty but you can critically think and innovate out of poverty.
“So Ghana schools, African schools have to begin to take serious look at what I will call assertive curriculum, a curriculum that empowers the African African child to ask questions and challenge the status quo respectfully within the African tradition context.”
Reacting to this on the mid day news on TV3 with Martin Asiedu Darteh on Thursday September 22, Mr Anti said “Everything he is telling in there is true. We have kids in classrooms that we have tamed them, they are timid. We normally confuse people who are timid to be humble.
[But] his prescription is not right. Teachers are those who are supposed to help students be assertive, to be outspoken, through learning process. But the teachers themselves are victimized when they are assertive.
“Technically, it means we are not training our teachers well. This depends on how we have designed our Colleges of Education, we tame the teachers in the Colleges, so what we give them is what they are also giving.
“If we want to address this then we have to look at the training of teachers.”