Education in Ghana has become a subject of interest to many in recent times, especially the sort of knowledge being thrown to students—how it’s shaped, presented and the long term effect when it comes to fostering or curtailing critical thinking.
Not long ago, there was somewhat a nationwide debate about the true function of the human head after it emerged that a book meant for teaching Ghanaian pupils positioned the function as for carrying load.
The debate had two groups of people, both with interesting arguments that successfully developed the conversation into a chicken and egg paradox—with a large number of Ghanaian social media users saying, the familiar function of the head ought to be taught first before the complex function, to enable proper learning.
Others disagreed on the grounds that, it’s plainly wrong to set a weak premise for any form of education by reducing the function of the human head to load carrying—as head load carrying is to some extent only unique to some people and true knowledge or what’s true ought to be consistent.
The above is a matter of what ought to be taught first or the true function of the head—not necessarily that what the book stated was completely out of the functional scope of the human head in our part of the world.
Interestingly, I just came across a section of another alleged teaching material posted on Facebook by a group that calls itself ‘The Ghanaian Atheist’ and unfortunately, the book, presumably written by Ghanaian scholars shockingly dents Ghanaian traditional religion in a disgusting, contemptuous and an unjustifiable manner.
According to the book, one of the key benefits of colonisation is the introduction of Christianity. The book argues that, before the introduction of Christianity which is a product of colonisation, Ghanaians practised traditional religion which allowed for human sacrifices, slavery and other uncivilised methods. It adds that, the introduction of Christianity put a stop to these practices.
On many levels, it’s plainly wrong and absurd to align slavery to the religion Ghanaians practised before colonisation—if you want to measure the role religion played in the grand scheme of slavery or the Slave Trade, then Christianity deserves the indictment, not the Ghanaian religion.
You do not need to be a historian to understand the long arm of Christianity in fostering Slavery—yet Ghana Education Service seems to obviously think otherwise and places the diabolical burden on the shoulders of Ghanaian traditional religion.
Beyond this misplaced blame, the paragraph of the book seemingly suggests that Ghanaians were inherently brutish and indiscriminately were sacrificing each other as part of our traditional religion—until Christianity came to change the Zeitgeist of pre-colonial Ghana and reshaped our practices to what we enjoy today.
It’s pure nonsense to simply state that the Ghanaian traditional religion adhered to uncivilized practices of worship, and it was the introduction of Christianity on the back of colonisation which brought the needed change or civilisation when it comes to worship.
Perhaps, the writers have no clue about human civilisation: and what’s the measure of uncivilised practices in this discourse?
Obviously, Ghanaians had a different way of worshipping compared to the Europeans who brought Christianity—but to place the Ghanaian traditional worship into a box of uncivilised practices and elevate that of the West as the true measure of civilisation at the time and even now is too simplistic for such an important and yet controversial conversation, especially when education is of essence.
It’s true the Ghanaian traditional religion had certain nefarious practices but Christianity is not a saint in that department either—it’s therefore wrong, perhaps mischievous and brainwashing to educate Ghanaians with such out of place derogatory connotation to what is truly theirs while clothing a foreign religion in a stainless white garment as a true saviour of our human dignity.
To be frank, if this is a leading positive effect of colonization, then colonisation has no real benefits—this is an overwhelmingly stretch of facts and a poor attempt at logical twisting, all meant to arrive at a set conclusion.
It does seem the various teaching materials and methods being used to educate Ghanaians ought to be re-evaluated.
At best, this was borne out of the hovering Ghanaian religious bias. It must definitely be so because the alternative plausible explanation is that, our educators have unconsciously bought into the well structured position of the white man being the ultimate rescuer in the jungle—the fountain head of white and ideological supremacy.
I honestly believed that until the lion learns to write, the narrative would always glorify the hunter—but in this case, the lion can write and yet has written the narrative in such a way that the hunter still takes home the undeserving glorification.
As The Ghanaian Atheist rightly wrote; “The Ministry of Education (MoE) and Ghana Education Service are doing our brains a great disservice by perpetuating mental, religious and colonial slavery in our education system. Christianity did not come to save Africans, it came to enslave them. It made us obedient, submissive and better slaves.”
Education ought to take the shape of an honest conversation…