Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Education: A view from Ghana - the Ashesi and MEST example

This era requires nothing less than hands-on education and tuition. Anything short of that will obviously make the beneficiaries of such a system not only unemployed, but also unemployable. In Ghana, the main public Universities produce many graduates every year. According to the Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, a big fraction out of this number are unemployable. My objective in this post is to evaluate the underlying factors that cause this dilemma and whether a solution can be found anytime soon.

Our public Universities are under-resourced and yet over populated. Lecturer to student ratios are amazingly unbelievable, yet at the end of the day, the graduates are expected to compete with their counterparts globally. I personally believe it is about time, the private sector came to the government's rescue.

Two main organisations that come to mind are the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) and Ashesi University. These schools have devoted their resources to train the Ghanaian population, one at a time. Ashesi University was founded by Patrick Awuah, former Microsoft executive. Every year the University produces talents in the liberal arts, sciences and engineering.

MEST on the other hand, was a dream conceived by Jorn Lyseggen, the CEO of the Meltwater Group, to train and prepare Ghanaian graduates in the technology and software fields. The trainees after graduation are supported by the Meltwater Foundation to start their own businesses to compete with similar Internet companies on the global market. The talents and skills exhibited by these trainees will undoubtedly go a long way to create wealth and employment for Ghana.

I believe, more of such strategies have to be considered if Ghana would want to compete with other advanced nations.


Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

Simple and concise. I like the style and the subject.

Edward of PathGhana said...

Thanks NY, I am learning from you :-)

Michel Bezy said...

Good paper. Is there any evidence, facts supporting the success you declare for those two institutions in Ghana? Facts like number of graduate who found a job, what kind of job, etc