The sole focus of an enlightenment programme is to instil, in the breasts and psyche of Ghanaian citizens, a consciousness of fidelity to the Republic; pride in our culture, traditions, institutions and achievements; awareness of civic rights and responsibilities; and an African identity. We seek to stand out as a powerful and highly influential Republic that, with the divine help of God, shall build a better universe for mankind.
Our academic mission and curriculum is the most potent antidote for poverty, disease and various other social obstacles that continue to deprive the average free citizen from realising a dignified life in Ghana – thus service, first and foremost, to God and ancestors duly; family and enterprise; district and province; and the Republic to which distinctive duties are owed.
The Ghanaian Dream and Renaissance
The Ghanaian Dream is to be an erudite and moral law-abiding administrator of your household and an industrious entrepreneur or public servant; a proven catalyst of district development; an accomplished statesman and, or, innovative industrialist to the province; and above all, a distinguished architect of the Republic.
The Ghanaian Renaissance is a full expression of our traditional aesthetics in beautifying our public institutions and private enterprises – a form of ultra-nationalism and love for our Republic that crystallises the diverse cultures of each clan and nation-state.
Centres of Scholarship
It is the paramount responsibility of government to ensure education, at whatever cost necessary, is provided to all Ghanaians, wherever they may find themselves on the map, without regard for their individual social and economic circumstances.
The quality of indigenous scholarship and excellence of educational institutions ought to be a great source of national pride, a worthy continental export and our rightful claim to global fame.
To each Province, a model deluxe primary and secondary centre of scholarship which is culturally aesthetic –– inspired by a fine blend of indigenous ancient African architecture and modern technology –– must be constructed in its Provincial capital. Each monumental structure, an edifice that evokes fascination, must be furnished with a baronial public library; palatial classrooms; resident halls; a banquet hall and private museum; athletic facilities; a grand theatre hall and state-of-the-art science and technology labs.
The government must make provincial funds and bursaries, at secondary and tertiary education, available to students proven exceptional in academia; sports and theatre.
Centres of Scholarship should be separated, administratively, from institutions of dogma such as traditional shrines/temples, mosques or churches. The educational curriculum should include, at the conclusion of secondary school education, optional service to either the government or military as a prelude to university studies.
Our Republic must unswervingly aim at, and strain our treasury to procure, despite the ever-present question of finance, quality education for our citizens.
The Era of Enlightenment.
In an era when multiple esoteric fraternities were established on the Gold Coast – G. H. T. Lyall inaugurated, in 1874, the Masonic Club; the Good Templars founded, in 1877, by the General Superintendent of the Wesleyan Mission and Commanding Officer of the Castle garrison, with the support of Lodge Deputy Grand Chief Templar, J. P. Brown; and the Odd-fellows was instituted in 1880 – the Mfantsi Amanbuhu Fekuw, also known as the Fante National Political Society, was established in Cape Coast, Central Province, Gold Coast in 1889 to deliberately to revive African literature, fashion and music.
A legal colossus, eminent political reformist and publisher who hailed from the Central Province, as well as a pioneer of the Fante National Political Society, John Mensah Sarbah joined the Fante Public School Company, a missionary enterprise which in 1903, founded the Mfantsi National Education Fund that, by 1905, financed the Mfantsipim Secondary School.
Sarbah, an altruistic person, embodied the values of a true patriot dedicated to enlightenment and renaissance. He set up a scholarship for students and staff members to protect the perpetual success of Mfantsipim.
It is through the ethics and values of our centres of scholarship that the Republic could harness a meritocratic Ghanaian society where there is equal opportunity for all citizens, abundant reward for ambition with an emphasis on individual freedom and national unity.
There is, therefore, still an urgent need, as bluntly expressed by the Gold Coast Aborigines Protection Society in 1902, for educated Ghanaian citizens, and not westernised Africans, committed to the ideal of a Republic with a revered and ethereal civilisation. While our indigenous institutions must meet internationally acceptable standards, our enlightenment programme must be devised on the basis of Ghanaian exceptionalism.
I cannot emphasise enough; this is Ghana’s Space Generation. This is the generation of rationalism, freedom of thought and enquiry.
The author, Vincent Djokoto, is Business Executive and Columnist. Twitter/Instagram @VLKDjokoto