American Education Compared to Ghanaian
I enjoy Ghana English; sometimes it feels like reading a book in Old English from the middle ages, where Kings and Queens set the tone.
Emmanuel said yesterday,
"If you allow a person to make fun, then you are a mere person."
I have never used the word "mere" in this fashion, I cannot remember every hearing a person say or use the word this way.
Ho, Ghana West Africa --- Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Should a person allow people to laugh at them? This sister of Emanuel is very respectful, however, his other sister Grace, I have completely stop talking with, she has be removed from the list of present or future friends, she is past. Ghana and most of Africa is prone to mockery, it is a primitive form of entertainment and in England, and they call it "Taking the Piss," a very common behavior of the Brits.
It is difficult to explain the education of Emmanuel, he is very good at people skills, however probably most of his view of the world comes from talking with friends, there are severe limitations, but he is wise.
Differences in Education between America and Ghana
Personally, I believe that formal schooling has but one function, to tempt a student to start learning on his or her own, to become self-taught to surround students with temptations to learn.
I would guess I owe my level of education to the third grade class situation where Mrs. Grabill was my teacher. It is the only time I remember getting spanked because of school, my parents never reprimanded me for bad grades, however when I got a bad citizenship grade from Mrs. Grabill, I got spanked on the back steps by my Father, I did not deserve it, I was bored out of my mind, you cannot expect a kid to just sit around in class like a lump on a log.
I was tortured in Grade school, therefore I learned to read, and it started in second and third grade.
I read the whole box of SRA Reading thingies.
My grade school teachers wanted me to listen and obey, they gave me no choice, they tortured me, they made me sit and listen to other students read. I read the whole stupid book while the first student was reading, then lost the correct place to follow along, I was then in trouble.
I went through the whole SRA reading comprehension box above; the only way to get to upper levels was to answer a set of comprehension questions correctly. Maybe I could say, thanks for torturing me Mrs. Grabill.
I was bored, therefore I found something to love, and I love reading.
SRS Science Research Associates
The Mom and Dad bored me, so I read Reader Digest, finally I learned how to buy books, and trade with Richard Gaudy science fiction books in Seventh Grade. I read every Batman and Superman comic book I could get my hands on, life was full of reading, because it was available, my parents subscribed to the Journal Gazette newspaper.
On and on it goes, I was surrounded by temptations to read, this was my American family, I am grateful to my parents.
Ghana Temptations to Learn
The two major ones are to talk, and watch TV, after that you can go to Christian bookstores and buy all the Christian reading materials you want… Alternatively, many self-help books, I cannot find a good novel in any of the 15 bookstores here in Ho, Ghana. Moreover, these ever too stupid Self-Help and Christian books are too expensive to buy.
There are a few newspaper stands in Ho, Ghana, but I have never found a newspaper sitting on any table to peruse. If I was born in Ghana, I would not be able to read or write, I would think about Soccer 24 hours per day, this is Ghana.
However, I am in awe of Emmanuel saying to me, that we cannot allow people to treat us as mere persons, we need to expect respect, this is wisdom, not taught in books, only learned from experience.
I never learned Grammar in grade school, it was not my fault, it was not the teacher’s fault, my brain refused to go slow enough to listen and learn.
Opportunities to Learn
The American people has about 100 times more opportunity to learn than a Ghana person, the education level is on average about second grade for Ghana, while an American it is about a Sophomore on average. Not a big difference in reality, but if you wish, in America you can have about 100 times more opportunity to learn, there is 100 times more ways to learn in the USA, this is the huge difference.
There is a third grade level fight going on right now in the country of Cote d’Ivoire, there are two Presidents and civil war is could break out, people are dying, it is a war of children.
Lord of the Flies
Were you forced to read "Lord of the Flies?" A book about that could explain the situation in Africa rather clearly in a simple and story like way.
I think one box of used books sent from the USA could change one life forever here in Ghana. My mother reads a book every two days, I buy books on Amazon.com, then have them sent home, she opens the packages and reads them before me, go figure… I cannot correct my spelling or grammar; I cannot read slow enough to see the mistakes.
One day I will be a millionaire, and I will bring boxes of books with me to Africa, not because I have to, but because I can, to help make it easy to find a book in Ghana that is fun to read.
Facebook.com and text message?
American Education Compared to Ghanaian
Trust is always the problem,
I would say the Peace Corps is your best option. I have tried to call the two Peace Crops numbers listed, I found, both appear to be wrong numbers now, but never can be sure.
I can get and give you an address of a Bookstore, and you could send direct. Like clothing donations by USA people, or Europe, they are not given to people. The people receiving the books would sell them, do not expect less.
A book in the USA is worth almost nothing, there are so many books, there is no problem to find one to read. In a way, this is what has to happen for literacy to become normal, there needs to be a never-ending supply of books sent.
I think if you send to any bookstore, there average number of books is better.
PLEASE do not send any text books, help book, they have 1000's of them, they are inundated with this type of book. They have almost nothing fun to read, only something makes reading work.
I will get an address of a bookstore.
Thanks Andy in Ho, Ghana December 2010