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Reducing Unemployment in Ghana (Part 1): The role of Career Guidance.

People in a queue looking for jobs.

For the past weeks I have been pondering about the issue of unemployment. I have been thinking about recent statements by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana and other industry players that Ghana graduates are not fit for the job market. So what is my take on the issue of unemployment in Ghana and remarks that Ghana Graduates are not fit for the job market?

Regarding jobs, I believe the first approach should be for proper career guidance to enable individuals make the right choices while pursuing various subjects at school. From day one when a person starts the education journey, opportunities should be created for individuals to recognise career options to enable them have better perspective in generating and pursuing career interests. There are different ways of doing this, at the tender age where a person pursues nursery education, appropriate toys such as Legos and professional toys should be made available to him or her.  This should lead to excursions, invitation of professionals to interact with these students through their primary school period. Moving forward through the Junior high school, a mentorship programme should be put in place for students to have professionals, career mentors and life coaches to take them on a one on one journey to fulfilling their career choices. Going through this process would give a person the needed information and guide to figure out his or her career progression path more effectively and very early in life.

The benefit would be that, a person is able to choose a good subject area to pursue at the senior high school level. This means there is a higher chance of a person passing his or her WASSCE exams. This would also lead to higher enrolment of students with immense quality attributes and maturity to pursue their degrees. When a university enrols quality students there is a higher chance of the university churning out quality graduates. This is primarily due to the fact that quality students would contribute creative ideas and constructive criticisms to the development of the school. Quality students would also mean possible initiation of students’ activities that would inure to the development of a sound and balanced academic community. A sound and balanced academic community would yield a student culture whose influence would transcend the academic walls of any university.

In a sound academic culture, you would find proper leadership, you would find integrity, you would find ethics and above all you would see entrepreneurship. This is what I think Harvard, Princeton, Yale plus other top universities all over the world have benefited and thus they becoming great.

What is my point, I believe solving Ghana’s problem of Universities presumably churning unemployable graduates should begin right from when a child starts his or her education. I believe the methods proposed in this piece should be utilised more in the government owned schools which absorbs most of our educable masses.

I would be writing part two soon.

About Derrydean Dadzie (24 Articles)
Derrydean Dadzie is a co-founder and CEO of DreamOval limited, an indigenous company that provides internet and mobile software services. He’s been described as part of Africa’s emerging class of young entrepreneurs who present a challenge to Western ideas of African economic development. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from Ashesi University. He has over 8 years’ experience in the software industry and business process engineering and streamlining. Derry has spoken at the highest level at mobile and internet technology conferences. He has also written articles on the mobile and internet space and has been a key resource person for various consultants, international organisations and development partners on the African software industry and mobile and internet technology. With vast experience in the mobile and internet software services industry, he’s been cited in diverse articles and presentation on mobile technology and entrepreneurship in Africa. He was recently adjudged the Young Entrepreneur for the year 2011 by WAVES international.

5 Comments on Reducing Unemployment in Ghana (Part 1): The role of Career Guidance.

  1. Some posts are involved in interesting topics, while another are often involved in useful topics. And I love your post, it is very useful.

  2. ama serwaa // 11/03/2012 at 3:00 pm // Reply

    grt piece….. very true

  3. @YalandaO // 11/03/2012 at 4:37 am // Reply

    I think it’s a goid idea to have career days and have professionals come and talk about their work as a source of inspiration. And I also agree the building blocks should start at infancy, but would say be slow to emulate the top universities in America. While intellect is a top priority, what is missing is a critical mass of “compassionate” intellectuals. We have a ton of extremely smart billionaires, many of which unfortunately lack compassion for humanity and concern for the environment. So instead of emphasizing preparing a child with professional toys in hopes they become valuable commodities to fulfill the needs of a current/future company (who by the time the child comes of age, the industry will have most likely changed dramatically and no longer need the skill set the children were groomed for), I highly recommend play based learning established by Dr. Maria Mintessori who created a natural scientific sequential way of the child absorbing information with a sensorial foundation (mixed with care/respect for themselves, their community and environment,) upon which the intellect is built.  Montessori respects the child, moves at their pace, respects multiple intelligences, and cultivates divergent thinking and following their interest.  The children’s learning materials are called work and these materials are beautiful and dynamic and draws the child in. Teachers are called guides and they perform a proper demonstration of the work and then the child gets to practice at their own pace when they chose to until mastery. Upon which they are introduced to the next sequence of beautiful work. The work is usually made of natural materials like glass and wood. The four operations of math, for example, are taught with a series of beautiful gold glass beads. If the child drops the beads and they break, it’s ok because in Montessori the child learns cause and effect… The lesson is tge chikd learns to handle tge beads carefulky because they are fragile…that’s a part of the sensorial experience and care for the environment. The children are taught how to indepently clean up the mess and handle the beads with care. The guide doesn’t scold and humiliate the child. Work is play and play is work. There’s so many positive aspects to this wonderful way of nurturing the whole child (too many to name here.) The end result is this, rather than having a generation of youth prepared to follow directions from a boss, they’ll be a generation of innovators creating responsible products and services that address critical needs of humanity and the environment. The bi-product is a sustainable community and environment.

    • Yalanda, I cant agree more. From your writing the Montessori way seems to the most optimal way. My point is mainly draw attention to the fact that preparing better leaders and entrepreneurs should ultimately start from when the person is a child. Subsequently best teaching methods should be adopted from the infancy level till the child grows through the education system to graduate and ready for the bigger society. Certainly, I see a Montessori approach offers the most optimal path and there is no doubt it could be adopted by most of our government schools. What I see here though could be higher cost of such an education and the my worry that government may not be able to absorb the cost.

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