An Educational Legacy Rooted In Colonialism

Ghana boasts one of Africa's most educated populations, a trend underscored by a consistent surge in tertiary enrollment over the past 15 years. In 2022, Statista reported a noteworthy 635 thousand students engaged in tertiary education, reflecting an annual increase. This trajectory, rooted in the colonial experience, reveals the historical imposition of formal and clerical education as an integral facet of the colonialist agenda. The imperative for semi-trained individuals to administer new territories propelled the provision of education, primarily clerical in nature. Unfortunately, post-independence, Ghana's educational landscape seems tethered to this colonial legacy, gravitating towards humanities and clerical education, sidelining science-related programs essential for addressing contemporary challenges.

In the wake of independence, Ghana, being the inaugural sub-Saharan African nation to gain autonomy, failed to shift its educational paradigm towards a focus on creativity and innovative scientific solutions. The prevailing orientation persists in preparing students predominantly for clerical and secretarial vocations, disproportionately rewarding English language mastery without fostering comprehensive scientific proficiency. The enduring colonial specter is evident in the continued emphasis on humanities over STEM programs, even in institutions initially established for the promotion of science and technology.

Paucity of Vital Educational Infrastructure

Beyond curricular constraints, Ghana's neglect of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is compounded by inadequate investments in critical infrastructure. The dilapidation of high school and tertiary institution laboratories impedes groundbreaking discoveries, dissuading potential students from pursuing scientific endeavors. While acknowledging the importance of humanities, my concern lies in our disproportionate focus on these disciplines to the detriment of vocational and scientific education—fields crucial for devising solutions to pervasive challenges.

As Ghana grapples with unemployment and critical issues spanning agriculture, climate change, and technological advancements, the dearth of qualified individuals proficient in STEM exacerbates our predicaments. Even institutions like the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, established for scientific advancement, have veered off course, with a proliferation of humanities faculties outnumbering those dedicated to the sciences.

Contemplating The Educational Paradigm

Reflecting on the educational landscape, I am prompted to question whether our objective is to cultivate a generation of critical thinkers and innovators or perpetuate the ritualistic passage of individuals through academic corridors. Our current system falls short of fostering intellectual curiosity and creative problem-solving, culminating in a preoccupation with amassing certificates rather than nurturing disciplined and empowered minds.

As someone who has traversed the global corporate sphere, it is disconcerting to witness the inadequacies in preparing the next generation of Ghanaians for the complexities of the contemporary workforce. This contemplation serves as a segue into the nexus between artificial intelligence (AI), employment dynamics, and our educational approach.

AI, Employment, and the Imperative For Educational Evolution

The global advent of artificial intelligence heralds a transformative era, redefining information creation, analysis, and distribution. AI's disruptive potential has already begun reshaping education and employment landscapes worldwide. Projections by the World Economic Forum anticipate AI displacing 85 million jobs by 2025, with Goldman Sachs estimating the replacement of 300 million full-time positions. The expeditious and cost-effective nature of AI implementation positions it as a preferred choice for businesses seeking profit maximization.

Notwithstanding concerns surrounding privacy, job losses, and misinformation, AI continues to revolutionize sectors such as news, healthcare, education, and e-commerce. In contrast, Ghana appears conspicuously detached from the AI discourse, lacking a regulatory framework to harness its strengths while mitigating its weaknesses. This disconnection is emblematic of an educational system out of sync with contemporary imperatives, risking exacerbating the acute unemployment situation in the country.

Recommendations for A Paradigm Shift

In light of these challenges, it is incumbent upon us to redefine the essence of education and employment in our society. The prevailing issues underscore the urgency of a comprehensive educational reform rather than mere incremental adjustments. Key recommendations include:

Educational Reforms/Revolution

• Catalyzing an educational revolution with a paramount focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

• Strategic investments in STEM infrastructure and laboratories, coupled with tax incentives for private sector engagement in STEM internships and job opportunities.

• Infusing patriotism and humanitarian values into the curriculum to foster innovation and solution-oriented thinking.

• Transitioning from an education system valuing rote memorization to one prioritizing critical thinking, effective communication, and intellectual curiosity.

• Cultivating a generation of lifelong learners proficient in utilizing tools like PowerPoint for effective knowledge dissemination.

• Shifting the perception of education from a social concept to a commercially oriented enterprise, ensuring courses and curricula prepare students to contribute commercially to their nation and the global market.

• Encouraging students at all levels to develop a habit of lifelong learning, fostering agility and flexibility in acquiring new skills relevant beyond Ghana's borders.

Shifting the Employee Mindset

• Equipping students with both soft and hard skills crucial for the evolving global workforce, including communication, networking, presentation, negotiation, time management, and people management skills.

• Emphasizing the importance of skills over certificates, acknowledging that competencies define one's standing in the professional realm.

• Embracing a paradigm shift from traditional perceptions of work to accommodate the emergence of freelancers and digital nomads working globally, thereby promoting skill-centric focus over certificates.

• Harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence in the workplace, encouraging professionals to leverage AI for their advantage.

• Advocating for the development of innovative approaches, such as using AI tools for academic writing, to enhance income opportunities and contribute to societal well-being.

• Aligning educational and professional endeavors with the dynamic demands of the AI-driven era, fostering a mindset that views AI as an asset rather than a threat.


In conclusion, the ultimate goal of our educational and professional endeavors should be the provision of viable solutions to persistent challenges. A revolutionary shift in both education and employment is imperative for Ghana to surmount recurrent issues and position itself as a global contender. The suspension of new tertiary institution accreditations serves as an opportune moment for Ghana to draw inspiration from successful models implemented by countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Rwanda, Japan, and South Korea.

As we navigate the evolving landscape shaped by artificial intelligence, we must discard outdated conceptions of education and employment. The time is ripe for a comprehensive reevaluation of our approach, ensuring our educational system not only meets contemporary demands but also propels Ghana to new heights. The synergy between education and employment should foster innovation, global competitiveness, and economic viability, leading to sustainable solutions for the challenges that confront us as a nation.


  • Nexford University. (n.d.). How will AI affect jobs? Nexford Insights. Retrieved from
  • Curry, R. (2023). AI job losses are rising, but the numbers don't tell the full
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  • Statista (2022).Number of Students in Tertiary education in Ghana from 2005-
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