Ghana at 57 – mixed impressions
Ho, March 05, GNA – Despondency and pale glimmers of hope were impressions given by respondents in Ho about Ghana on the attainment of 57 years of nationhood on Thursday March 6.
The central impressions were that Ghana has a huge political stature in the international arena but a pale shadow as an economic entity.
The Ghana News Agency (GNA) random survey in Ho on the eve of Ghana’s Independence Day celebration on Thursday targeted the aged, the youth, workers and the self-employed.
Mr Ebenezer Dzikunu, a retired educationist, said it was important for Ghana to consolidate its political independence with a robust economy that takes adequate care of the citizenry.
He said ‘our flag and national anthem are nothing unless we back it with economic liberation and growth.”
It is good we are still intact as a nation today but if we do not work on the economy of the country, we could be in trouble,’ Mr Dzikunu said and added that there should be a national development plan to be implemented by all governments.
Mr Clemence Yao Azumah, who was 83 years old on Wednesday, said ‘life was better at independence than now’.
He said food and other necessities of life were affordable and workers generally had good incomes.
Mr Azumah said access to health delivery might not be as good as today, but for a worker, it was affordable, even when there was no health insurance scheme.
Margaret Grace Atsu, 76, an educationist, said education standards had plummeted and attributed this to too many social activities taking the attention of parents away from their children’s education.
Madam Atsu mentioned funerals, marriages and parties among social activities competing for time with child tendering in the homes.
She said teacher supervision was almost non-existent and incomes been eroding since independence.
Mr General rpt General Affizie, a retired educationist, said the education sector appeared not to be working within any corporate strategy and that the motivation is ‘self-centeredness,’ and the drive was towards ‘personal upliftment’.
Mr Affizie said the centre of activities in the educational sector was obviously not holding as there appeared to be no management philosophy guiding anybody in the offices.Rev Professor William Kwaku Opare, a 65, who retired as a polytechnic teacher, said the grammar type education had almost blunted initiative and creativity in pupils and students.
He said he believed the education systems should be restructured to give pupils practical perspective to education.
Mr Joseph Amenuvor, 69, a retired civil servant, said lowering incomes over the years had reduced the capacity of workers to serve as foster parents of members of the extended families.
Mr Agrippa Apatu, a retired Deputy Superintendent of Police, said life was still as good as before.Mr Cephas Mawufemor Klu, a welder, said he had very little to celebrate at independence as the business had completely slowed down due to the increasing inability of government to pay for services.
Mr Alfred Kofi Nanah Dumakor, upholsterer, said at 57 Ghana was still crawling.
He said he had no idea what life was at independence but that from books and stories from the older ones, he could say that Ghana seemed to be retrogressing.
Mr Dumakor said it appeared politicians who should lead the people into working for development were ‘not interested in making names for themselves but money for their pockets.’
A young civil servant who pleaded anonymity said independence for him was only a ‘calendar marking’ and nothing more and Beauty Kafui Komla said for her independence was a ‘parade of school pupils and nothing more’.
Mr Yao Semordey, an Organization Development Expert, said though the country was making progress in participatory democracy, economic conditions in the country were worsening.’
Though we have entrenched democracy, our structures are weak and cannot support the system.We have high youth unemployment, poor roads, young people are no longer prepared to do any volunteer work.
They want financial rewards for every little work,’ he said.Some other respondents were of the view that Ghana must tackle its population problem if its modest economic strides were to reflect positively on the living standards of the populace.
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