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Taking Ownership of Our Education: A Pathway to Nation Building

WRITTEN BY Joseph Boateng


Taking Ownership of Our Education: A Pathway to Nation Building – a submission by Joseph Boateng

For an unemployed and underachieving young person, the idea of contributing to national
development may seem daunting, leading one to dismiss themselves as inconsequential in the
grand scheme of things. However, history has shown us that national development is not only the
responsibility of political leaders but also of common citizens who possess unique skills and
perspectives. Private Odartey Lamptey’s contribution to Ghana’s independence struggle serves as
an excellent example of this.

As I reflect on this question, I realize that many young people are not conscious of the task of
adding quality to the growth of our country. In this essay, I aim to explore this apathy and
propose a solution. I believe that I can contribute to national development by re-sensitising
myself and others to the call to participate in nation-building, specifically by reconstructing what
I might have known to be the purpose of my education.

My journey towards re-sensitization began when I overheard raised voices and shouting in my
school dormitory corridor. The Finance Minister had announced that the government payroll was
full, and young graduates could not be employed moving forward. Conversations among my
peers revealed a prevailing political sentiment, agreeing that the government did not care about
the younger generation. They also thought that even if jobs were available, corrupt practices
would prevent their employment. As a result, they concluded that we should leave the country
for better opportunities and focus on making money as it was the only thing that mattered in the

These conversations revealed seeds of apathy and disaffection growing within us for our country,
rooted in the belief that our education would not guarantee a good life. I noticed that we saw the
privilege of our education only insofar as it is a means to an employable end. However, I realized
that education is not just about preparing for the workforce; it is about developing critical
thinking skills, creativity, and the ability to communicate effectively. These skills are valuable
not only in the workplace but also in everyday life. Education helps us to become well-rounded
individuals who can think critically, solve problems, and communicate our ideas effectively. It
helps us to become informed citizens who can engage in civic life and contribute to the
development of our nation.

My example of re-sensitization involves reconstructing the purpose of education. Education
cannot be seen anymore as a means to an end but as an end in itself, that sets up for other ends
that accrue to the benefit of our society. It is a journey that leads to discovering one’s
competencies, building on them, and using them to contribute to a worthwhile cause. As young
Ghanaians, we have a responsibility to take ownership of our education and use it as a tool to
solve societal problems, be globally competitive, and contribute to the development of our nation
and the world. It is imperative that we become lifelong learners and view our education as a tool
for personal and social development, not just for economic advancement.

I intend to re-sensitize myself and others to the call for nation-building by taking concrete steps
towards this goal. For example, I have decided to take up a teaching offer from a certain school,
which I initially rejected because I felt it was beneath me and that I needed a more reputable job.
Through classroom teaching, I will share my reconstructed view of education with my students
and encourage them to take ownership of their education and use it to contribute to society. By
doing so, I hope to inspire them to become lifelong learners and active citizens who are
passionate about the development of our nation.

In conclusion, national development is not only the responsibility of political leaders but also of
ordinary citizens who possess unique skills and perspectives. “Arise Ghana youth for your
country…we are all involved in building our motherland” are lyrics of a song that most Ghanaian
students have once marched to, and we must have this at the forefront of our minds in all our
daily engagement

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