After building himself up academically through unconventional methods, Mr. Robert Bamfo saw his children as a test case to justify his belief that the maintstream teaching and learning system is faulty.
And sitting in the Joy FM studio with his two sons, the man who home-schooled them beamed satisfactorily at how his experiment has proved successful and near complete.
His eldest son, Edwin, was pulled out of school at 12 years. He finished the University at 20 years old, some two or three years earlier than most.
His experiment showed promise. And his next son, Viemens, became the next in his domestic factory line of customised, uncategorised, undogmatic education.
Viemens has been admitted as a student at the University of Ghana at age 12. And is on course to finish at age 16 years.
And as the news of his son’s feat went viral, Robert Bamfo was in the Joy FM studio to take the plaudits after years of stomaching criticisms and scepticism about his methods and his aims.
He traced his decision to home-school his children to his own “journey of exploring” knowledge. Tiny English alphabets intimidate him greatly, he said.
He learnt pronunciations outside the classroom setting and from a man who after returning to Ghana from the UK and exposed him to international phonetic symbols.
He learnt to do Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) by going out of school to learn Latin. Yes, Latin. Robert Bamfo said he chanced on a library book which revealed, the key to that math test is Latin language.
The man described by his friends as ‘always in a hurry’, hurried to St. Louis to find a priest in the Catholic faith which remains the remaining vanguard of the dead language of Latin, seen as the father of several languages.
It was Rev. Fr Patrick Nkrumah, who exposed him to understanding the structure of language. “Language is mathematical,” he said and tried to explain it in a way that included three-factorial.
Latin helped him play the guitar, he explained his fascination with Latin. Robert Bamfo has a word for any student learning Spanish without picking up Latin lessons.
“My frank position is that he is being denied a lot” he stated with gusto.
He stressed that since vocabulary is key to communication, all academic pursuit rests heavily on a student’s ability to develop strong foundations.
An exposure to international phonetic symbols and Latin can prove very helpful in this regard, he indicated.
And that’s how he pulled Viemens out of school, pulled him out of bed at 3am every day to teach them till 6am and then leave them home to manage their lives independently until it is time for him to account for his time by evening.
Robert, once intimidated by tiny English alphabets, says the presentation of knowledge in Ghana should shift. It almost left him undone and he won’t allow his children to suffer same, if he can help it.