It is no secret that our tertiary educational system lags behind in a lot of areas in comparison to foreign Universities. How Do we know this? Well from people who have studied in foreign Universities and also from what we’ve seen in movies and in tv shows. Admittedly, what we see on the screen doesn’t always give the full story but if we match that against the stories from people who have experienced it first hand, there are a few we can clearly identify as areas we are behind. So let’s get into them.
Student to teacher ratio
In most disciplines, the amount of human resource invested has a direct effect on productivity. A typical example of such is university education. It is therefore a worrying trend that while universities in the United States have a student to teacher ratio of 15, a lecturer in Ghana is handling more than 100 students. This isn’t the case for all universities in Ghana with schools like Ashesi driving positive change, but we still have a long way to go.
Trained to pass, not to know
Too much emphasis is put on the ability to churn out exactly what the lecturer tells you in the lecture room in most Ghanaian Universities. There is rarely any space for a student to question or challenge a lecturer. A lot of courses in Ghanaian universities still lack practical lessons where as high schools in America have students building and creating from knowledge acquired from class.In the outside world, more focus is placed on students’ understanding of concepts than how well they perform in exams. In Ghana, once you are able to cram and reproduce what you have been taught, you are good to go. No-wonder the most advanced technologies are from the developed countries.
Theory and practical
For some reason, Ghanaian universities don’t invest in practical equipment. Unlike the colleges abroad, our syllabuses are jammed with theory lessons instead of hands-on lessons. It is another explanation to our relatively poor performance as a country.
It is very embarrassing to compare Ghanaian students’ living conditions in our premier university to students in some not so reputable colleges in the States. In Ghana, we are still battling with basic necessities; poor internet services and erratic power supply just to mention two. Too bad!
Ghana is improving in this one, but the pace is too slow. Elsewhere, students are having online classes, online platforms where they get all relevant notes and useful questions and the like. Let’s bridge the gap!
This is one of the most contrasting attributes of the two sets of universities. Universities on TV are well planned and packed with eye-catching buildings. Serenity is a very good stress releasing factor but we are losing out on that too.
Trained for the job
Universities in Ghana do not succeed in equipping their students with relevant skills to flourish in the job market. In other jurisdiction, students are fortified to the extent that top profile companies are able hire them even before they graduate. This must change.