“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
—Maimonides. This may speak to what I want to put across to the relevant authorities.
Former American President, Theodore Roosevelt is quoted to have said “Do what you can, with what
you have, where you are.”
The relevance of wise sayings can only be termed as ‘unwise’ or fallacies when these sayings cannot
be visualised and actualised. The Holy Bible even states clearly that ‘For if the trumpet give an
uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?’ (I Corinthians 14:8).
Our parents and people of old who have undergone formal or informal education in Ghana and
other countries around the world will support the attestation that modern education or 21st Century
education has changed.
Some may praise the invention of technologies such as the internet and other gadgets to make learning and teaching easier and faster whilst on the other hand; some may have wished these things should have been invented later since they are rather causing harm than good. Maybe, the latter group is right on what they think or the former, I believe you have taken sides.
Education in Ghana has travelled a long way and has produced and is still producing wonder minds
in the country and beyond. Recently, Ghana’s educational system has been in the news for several reasons, from the implementation of Free Senior High School to students not having textbooks to learn, lecturers calling for increment of wages leading to strikes and now the infamous school feeding caterers on strike.
Studies show that teacher strikes cause negative effects in terms of school performance, labour
market participation and wages for those exposed to the strikes. Some of the things can be avoided.
OPERATION FEED YOURSELF (OFY)
Operation Feed Yourself (OFY) may sound familiar to almost every Ghanaian including some children
in their teens. This was among the policies our ‘ancestors’ or parents and grandparents used to enjoy
before this era of ‘fast food’.
The ‘New King, New Law’ rule has had a wide-ranging impact on citizens’ lives and many countries around the world, including Africa. Africa is said to be the richest continent in natural resources yet we fall short.
Many leaders or Presidents who are voted into power quit the former administration’s style of ruling
with the mind that theirs is very good and an advanced form. This may best describe the reasons why
many great policies are not continued.
History tells its story saying ‘Kofi Abrefa Busia’s regime as Prime Minister immediately preceded the
regime of Ignatius Kutu Acheampong and Operation Feed Yourself. Busia’s removal from office at the hands of Acheampong was strongly motivated by Ghana’s economic performance under Busia.
Busia’s regime produced a decline in per capita production and per capita income without a proposed plan in response. Busia was also heavily reliant on aid from Western countries, a characteristic that was
despised by Acheampong who hinged his regime on self-reliance.
Operation Feed Yourself was an agricultural programme administered in Ghana under military general
and head-of-state Ignatius Kutu Acheampong. This policy was initiated in February 1972 and remained
until the end of Acheampong’s regime in 1978.
It aimed to increase levels of food crops produced in Ghana for domestic consumption and also make
Ghana self-sufficient in food supply in order to break with the colonial past and correct the “image of
a beggar nation”. Though the programme had good intentions it failed.
WHY THE MENTION OF OFY
Touching on the issue of feeding our children and siblings in various schools in the country,
headmistresses and headmasters of schools should demarcate an area for farming to cater for some
of the needs of the children in the schools to limit depending on the government to provide for everything.
Just as the OFY aims at clearing the ‘image of a beggar nation’, leaders of various schools can
adapt to such a thing. Let us give it a try for a few years and see the outcome.
The author, Edinam Djaton is a social commentator and a writer.
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