Home Editorial Quayson Writes : Let Us Eschew Traits Of Autocractic Governance

Quayson Writes : Let Us Eschew Traits Of Autocractic Governance

Minister for Education Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh a.k.a Napo on 20th November, 2018 Tuesday’s edition of meet the press conference has stated that no lecturer will be allowed to teach in any of the universities in Ghana if they don’t possess a PhD degree.

He himself a PhD holder has given sometime to all lecturers in the universities who do not have PhD to take advantage of the British support programme to acquire their PhDs or not be allowed to teach in University lecture halls after sometime. No clear timeline has been given so it is possible to experience another turmoil in our university system at any time at all if lecturers don’t brace themselves well and comform to this directive.

Honestly this directive from the Minister of Education got me thinking about alot of issues in this country and how it looks as if the government is adopting an autocratic approach in governing this nation.

My question to the honourable Minister is that, does your boss the President of Ghana H.E Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo who appointed you as education Minister have a PhD? Yet he is managing the whole country with all PhD holders in it. Nana you need to give this your Minister a knock on his head for us Ghanaians.

When countries have stopped employing certificates but rather skills, abilities and experiences you still want to take us back by focusing on qualifications. MPhil should be okay for one to be a lecturer, even a degree once the person is good and can teach for proper understanding of students. Finland which has best educational system in the world has banned study of curriculum subjects in their schools. They are focusing more on the abilities of students and developing it in their educational institutions.

I hold CA Ghana but have lectured first degree students and Masters students in many universities and polythecnics in Ghana to an extent I did better than most of their resident lecturers on campuses and the students themselves attest to it.

If you focus so much on qualification you won’t get the quality of lecturers needed because most of these university lecturers depends more on experience than their academic qualification. India has pursued so much of academic certification that now almost everyone holds a PhD there. So PhD now in India is like WASSCE in Ghana. Is that how we want to make PhDs lose their value in this country by forcing people to go for PhD?

I have personally lectured for 17 years in business schools, polythecnics and universities in Ghana and I can tell you for a fact that those holding higher qualification than I do cannot match me in the classroom because I have much more experience and quality content than they do. I will beat them hands down and have been beaten them hands down.

Infact most of my students use my lecture notes to teach their colleagues in their tertiary level because lecturers don’t give them adequate content. The customers who are the students testify so you can’t bring this qualification thing and forget experience, delivery and content at all. So once you have a PhD whether you are a good material or not you are made a lecturer.

Suddenly lecturers should abandon their classrooms and go and be looking for PHDs? I don’t consider this to be right and should not be done in a rush. Let Auditor General go and audit most lecturers who have PhDs, you will realise that most of them are fake or they bought them with money may be including some honourable Ministers in government.

I said may be I didn’t say that is the case, I mean anything is possible. I mean we were in this country when the head of IT at SSNIT who also had a PhD was later discovered to be fake. It was only when matters came that it was realised that his PhD was fake after contacting the school abroad that he claimed he attended, yet he was working for government and “chopping” monies of pensioners.

I have responsibilities as a family man now I can’t leave them suddenly and go and pursue PhD, who will cater for my family or should I buy a PhD myself? Some of us believe in quality and content so we either have the time and means to support the venture now or wait till it’s appropriate.

Don’t force lecturers to get PhDs, make it flexible for them, provide them the means whiles you still pay them and they will pursue whatever course you want them to on their own not a pre-requisite. I think a University is just like any working institution and there must be a minimum educational requirements to become a lecturer not that every lecturer must have a PhD. There are levels and grades. With what you are pursuing Mr. Minister it means the Universities are short of one more lecturer because you hold a PhD yourself so what are you doing being a Minister of State when you can be in the lecture hall yourself?

What qualification did Jesus hold yet he was a great teacher and none of his kind? Mohammed too and Budha or don’t the universities offer religious courses? Of course they do, but with this policy you are pursuing such great religious teachers would have been sidelined for PhD holders.

NPP government is raising the bar too high that most Ghanaians can’t reach it which is leading to a lot of collapses here and there in certain sectors of the economy. I read somewhere that without TIN your ward won’t enjoy free SHS neither can you also import. Without digital address you can’t have a Ghana Card and without a Ghana Card you cannot do this or that. Oh ho! NPP government slow down, where are you people rushing to and why are you treating Ghanaians like school children?

In my view, only PhD lecturers or Professors should teach PhD students but Masters holders can teach first degree undergraduates. Even those that have first degree and are academically good can teach the undergraduates to hold a first degree too. We don’t know what you people are doing with this nation.

Our finance Minister and all those appointed by Akuffo Addo, how many of them hold a PhD? What efforts have you put in place to make sure that lecturers attain PhDs in Ghana? Is our whole Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo a PhD holder? Yet you count on his experience and technically as a senior minister you the one that have PhD you are under him.

Kantanka of Christo Asafo fame does not have a PhD just an honourary one conferred on him recently but he trains most engineering students in our polytechnics and universities in car manufacturing whiles the so called professors cannot even manufacture common toilet rolls in this country.

Because you hold a PhD you want to force everyone to hold one. Even with all your PhD you couldn’t figure a clever way around the free SHS that you are now double tracking. What a shame!

Recently I heard him tell teachers that no national service no jobs. What kind of government is punishing the people to forcefully toe their line. I see this government to be exhibiting the traits of autocratic governance and the leadership increasingly becoming dictatorial. The president was quoted saying he does not respond to presidential aspirants but to flagbearers, in reference to H.E John Dramani Mahama. I really felt very bad for this statement because if anything at all the former president is a Ghanaian first and a tax payer before political status. Does it mean the president does not care for the concerns of the ordinary Ghanaian too?

You need to reach general consensus with people before implemementation but everything in this government is a “Mafia” approach. After all it is the people you are governing and not yourself so don’t play the role of a strict headmaster over his students in this country called Ghana because it is this same people that gave you the “kokromoti” power to enter Flagstaff House.

I remember how during elections Mr. President was virtually in tears and almost on his knees begging Ghanaians to vote him into power, he even fell on a campaign platform once. Ghanaians sympathised with his consecutive election losses and we all drunk “kalyppo” for Mr. President.

I remember my favourite Kalyppo was the cocktail mixture which I will often take, post pictures of it and put it on Facebook in support of Nana Addo and now that you have the power most of your policies go against the same people that voted and drunk kalyppo fruit drink for you to the extent that the masses are suffering untold hardship whiles you and your ministers cruise in various V8s, sit in better air-conditioned offices, receive fat salaries and privileges as the masses are suffering. The cheeks are growing fat whiles people’s pockets are dwindling in this country.

It is as though this government is very insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians and don’t care if whatever they are introducing will affect the people negatively or not they just go ahead and do it. Why do you want to force every lecturer to have a PhD else no job? Teachers must do National Service else no job? Is that how you talk to your voters and people that brought you to power?

You are asking lecturers to take advantage of British programme to get their PhDs but you as a government who have you given scholarship to, to study for their PhDs in this country? Akuffo Addo’s government is increasingly becoming insensitive to the needs of Ghanaians and they don’t care whether the masses suffer or not with their policy interventions.

As an Attorney General our current president “fast tracked” our court system and as a president he is double tracking free SHS in this country. What is it with this government and tracking at all? Are we in a track race for anything at all? Serve the people but don’t enslave them with harsh policies and rules like we are in a military barracks.

So now all lecturers must fear and panic and go for PhDs by force though they are not ready for it. And by the way how does the PhDs improve the quality of teaching in the universities? This is just a display of showmanship of control of power and aims at achieving nothing else. The satisfaction that a government is causing lecturers to run helter scelter to top up their educational qualification. That is all the glory there is in this exercise and nothing else from my point of view.

Give lecturers the option and scholarships to upgrade themselves if they want to but you don’t rubber stamp it with authority that no PhD no lecturing in universities. Sometimes let’s come home with issues and not look far because time changes. Hon. Okujeto Ablakwah became a minister of education over lecturers that taught him in school but he never introduced directives to sideline their positions as lecturers or make them run a race of looking for other qualifications. You can suggest and put system in place to make it possible to achieve that but you don’t order your former school lecturers to get their PhDs or they are out. That is a very insensitive government and autocratic in nature.

Government must empower universities to independently train and upgrade lecturers on campuses from level A to B, and must be inculcated in the university curricula and administration itself. This is not an area an Education Minister must venture into. For a young minister of state to come and order lecturers to go for their PhDs else they won’t work is an insult to our old lecturers on campuses.

If this is not an autocratic government then I don’t know what this is. This is not what Ghanaians bargained for to come and put fire in our hats. The government does not manage change properly at all and need lessons in change management I tell you. They just don’t care about the after effect of their policies but just go ahead and implement it not considering the ordinary Ghanaian. This was evident in the banking sector crisis where people lost so many jobs and now the educational sector.

Change is only necessary when it is positive not when it causes general economic hardship and distability with the excuse of correcting weak economic fundamentals left us by past government.

I keep on emphasising that my articles are non-partisan but objective and why I keep talking about NPP is because they are the government in power and are in charge of our economic resources so we must hold them accountable. If I am labelled in anyway, it is a less worry to me because my own conscience remains my ultimate judge not what others think.

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