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“Academic grades do not guarantee success”
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“Academic grades do not guarantee success”

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phpYjsNXnAMStudents feel the need to attain high grades, but Kenneth Gyamerah, 26, a Correspondent from Kumasi in Ghana, raises concern about that pressure. He considers whether grades are in fact the most important measure of success.

In February , 2017, it was reported that an 18 year old student of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology,  a daughter of a ruling New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament, took her life.

A media report indicates she left a note apologising for disappointing her parents.

It can’t be said with certainty what motivated the suicide, but campus sources say she failed one of her courses and couldn’t bear the shame.

This is not the first time this type of incident has happened.

Three years earlier, in February 2014, a student at the University of Education Winneba committed suicide because he failed  three courses.

As a Global Youth Ambassador for education change through the World at School and a teacher by training, I am lugubriously saddened by these incidents.

I absolutely don’t understand why some parents and Ghanaians at large still consider the marks of academic scores as a conventional assessment of success. I don’t know why we call ourselves as God-fearing country, but we have tied destinies to academia scores.

It is very sad and a big shame to indulge in this myopic thinking. It’s high time we dissociate success or destiny from academia marks on paper.

Ghana considers success as a person who can score an ‘A’ in a rote memorization examination, which only appreciates knowledge based the level and leaves the rest of the domains of educational objectives, according to Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy of Education.

Going forward, I think Ghana’s education system, which encourages rote memorization of facts  to assess performance to the neglect of skill acquisition, has woefully  failed. It’s time for policy makers and stakeholders to stop the lip service and immediately call for a review.There should be proper assessment of students which will cater to their holistic development.

Also, parents should understand that grades don’t necessarily depict the true performance of a child.  I have seen third class and pass graduates changing the world. Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, didn’t have first class in computer science. Most of the richest entrepreneurs in Ghana currently didn’t have tertiary education.

I therefore advise that Ghanaian parents should not be too rigid on their wards if they don’t make good grades.They should emphasise on character, competency and changed thinking.

Moreover, universities should make good use of the online portals system, which allows students to have access to their results without any third party involvement, instead of posting them on the notice boards.

Last but not least, the guidance and counselling unit should be strengthened in all the  various levels of our education system.

During orientation and other programmes, the units should inculcate stress management tips and stories of people that will show grades alone are not enough to become successful, so that students will not be too grades-driven.

Reach me on Twitter:@kennethgyamera

photo credit: airsoftpal.comApple Entrepreneurs via photopin (license)

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About me: I am a youth activist, writer and a professional teacher.

I am an enthusiast on all issues concerning youth, and feel fulfilled through engaging in policy related discussions and deliberations on youth empowerment and development. I am passionate about organising for a global youth agenda, and want to be the voice for the less privileged in Ghana.

My interests lie in advocacy, writing and teaching, which has led to involvement with a number of global youth-related organizations.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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