The Purpose of Education?

When talking with my students in preparation of my absence for my Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) fellowship travel component, I asked them what they wanted to know about Ghana. To my surprise, many dug deeper than just the surface questions of “How much is a Coca-Cola” and wanted to know about real issues affecting the daily life in Ghana. Many students were interested in the structure of the school system and what the similarities and differences are. So far, this is what I have gleaned thinking about the purpose of an education. The title question has long been in the minds of many US students sitting patiently at their desks in eager anticipation of high school graduation. Many education officials in our country don’t even agree on a shared answer or national response. In Ghana, I imagine the response of many students to be similar in nature to US students. However, after talking with many Ghanian education officials today, I get the sense from them that their response, and subsequent action, is totally different than ours.

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I’m a student again! Akropong Ghana Education Services office. Akropong, Ghana

The men and women I spoke with today at the Akropong GES (Ghana Education Services) and at the Ministry of Education believe that the school system’s goal is to produce citizens that will give back to their mother country, Ghana. While they understand very well the challenges of the country, there was always a sense of hope in their response that there is a collective better day to come. This sense of national pride is much different from our country where we are so individualized in nature. I am curious to hear responses from the students I will be working with over the next week at Mfantasipim School in Cape Coast, Ghana about what role they see education having in their life and what role Ghana plays in their life and, on the flip side, what role they will play for the country.

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Fellow TGC member Meg and I at the Ministry of Education in Accra, Ghana

This blog is not an official U.S. Department of State website. The views and information presented are the grantee’s own and do not represent the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program, IREX, or the U.S. Department of State.

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1 comment
  1. Mom said:

    Sounds like you had a really interesting day. Wonder how your students would do in the schools in Ghana, and how the Ghanian students would do in your school?? Educational systems can vary greatly, and there can be many cultural differences, but are you finding many commonalities between the teenagers here and those in Ghana?

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