The Minister for Education with the dignitaries

Develop Curriculum to Train Innovators and Inventors

The Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has called on African governments to collaborate with Universities to develop a curriculum that trains people to be innovators and inventors as well as create opportunities to reduce or prevent migration.
    
Dr. Prempeh noted that Ghana was committed to providing for the establishment of an educational system intended to produce well-balanced individuals with the right knowledge, skills, values, aptitudes and attitudes to become functional and productive citizens for the total development and the democratic advancement of the nation.

The Minister was speaking at the opening of a three-day Training on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Model Curriculum on Media, Migration and Refugee Matters hosted by the Department of Communication Studies on the theme “Interrelated Issues to the Media, Migration and Refugee Issues in the Context of a Curriculum Model”.

Dr. Prempeh said the international media had over the years featured harrowing scenes of news stories of young Africans mostly men seeking a new life in Europe by crossing dangerous deserts and seas. “Many lose their lives in the process, but those that make it seem to inspire wave after wave of their desperate fellow citizens to risk their lives for this dangerous crossing” he noted.  Making reference to the Landmark UN Migration Studies published on Monday, 21st October, 2019, he stated that, “ 93 per cent of Africans making the journey to European countries along irregular routes would do it again, despite facing often life-threatening danger because of the search for what many term as better lives”.

Touching on some possible causes of illegal migration, he indicated that African migrants were urged on by their lives of hopelessness, despair and lack of opportunities in their countries and, therefore, see Europe as their only hope of a better life. “The UNDP recommends in a report that opportunity and choice must expand at home to stall the movement of many African youths from using illegal or legal means to migrate to Europe,” he noted. He indicated that as long as people remained poor, uneducated and unskilled, they would seek to migrate by whatever means to a better life elsewhere no matter the dangers.

The model curriculum seeks to provide journalism educators with a comprehensive set of modules, enabling them to train journalism students to better understand the complex factual dimensions of migration coverage, and to translate this knowledge into sound and sensitive yet critical and challenging reporting techniques. It is important to embed the migration story within the actual context of the national political economy. African reporting has tended to emphasise the impact of migration on countries of destination, leaving audiences in Africa only marginally interested in the subject. However, migration can – and should – serve as a mirror of the societies from which the migrants emerge. The story needs to be brought home to Africa in a way that is as dispassionate as it is compelling and convincing, and bring in the perspectives of all stakeholders, local and international. Media reporting constitutes the first line of a people's history. What are journalists in Africa telling about an era that is marked by these dangerous and massive movements of citizens in search of greener pastures?

In her address, a representative of Africa Positive, Veye Tatah explained that the model curriculum would provide journalism educators with a comprehensive set of modules, to enable them to train journalism students to better understand the complex factual dimensions of migration coverage, and to translate this knowledge into sound and sensitive yet critical and challenging reporting techniques.  

Veye Tatah indicated that it was important to embed the migration story within the actual context of the national political economy. “African reporting has tended to emphasize the impact of migration on countries of destination, leaving audiences in Africa only marginally interested in the subject” she noted. She further however posited that “Migration can – and should – serve as a mirror of the societies from which the migrants emerge. The story needs to be brought home to Africa in a way that is as dispassionate as it is compelling and convincing, and bring in the perspectives of all stakeholders, local and international”.

In her view, “Media reporting constitutes the first lines of a people's history” and asked rhetorically,  “What are journalists in Africa telling about an era that is marked by these dangerous and massive movements of citizens in search of greener pastures?”

The Provost of the College of Humanities and Legal Studies, Prof. Eric Francis Amuquandoh, said the training workshop was very crucial since most developing countries including Ghana continue to lose capable citizens who could have contributed to the development of their countries. He was hopeful that the training would bring to the fore some thorny issues that needed to be addressed to reverse the trend. 

The Provost noted that the media played very important roles in the development of any nation and therefore, inculcating this curriculum in their training would enhance their understanding of migration and refugee issues. “This will enable them to report the issues in a professional manner devoid of gaps,” he noted.