Former President Jerry John Rawlings has described the educational system in Ghana as lacking substance and essence.
He said at a time when the country was inundated with so many universities the quality of education has dwindled churning out superficial graduates every year.
Mr Rawlings said although the educational system in the country had transformed over the years the standard had fallen with graduates becoming a liability to the economy.
This he explained was due to the fact that students lack the political will to utilise and implement what they learn in school.
Speaking at a meeting with Cuba trained Ghanaian professionals who paid a courtesy call on him at his office in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Rawlings said Cuba was a shining example when it comes to education especially in their efforts at training medical doctors and other professionals throughout the world.
Cuban scholarship programme
The wife of the former president, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings contributing to the discussions said the personal relationship that existed between her husband and former Prime Minister of Cuba, Fidel Casto made it possible for the creation of Cuban scholarship scheme which enabled needy but brilliant Ghanaian students to be trained in Cuba.
She explained although the economy was in bad shape without an IMF and World Bank support former president Rawlings initiated and sustained the scholarship programme.
Mr Kofi Asafo Agyei , President of the Association of Cuban trained graduates in Ghana said the need to pay attention to the country’s human resource development cannot be overemphasized that is why he and his colleagues came back to Ghana to contribute their quota to national development.
He said it was only appropriate to pay a courtesy call on the former president for the bold and courageous decisions he took to send hundreds of brilliant needy Ghanaians students to Cuba on scholarship despite the criticisms and misconceptions about the programme by sections of the population.
He pointed out that former president Rawlings had exemplified visionary leadership by taking a bold decision to ensure that foreign scholarship projects could serve as a catalyst for rapid development especially for a developing country like Ghana.
He said “although it was an unpopular decision in 1983 to send some 609 young Ghanaian students to Cuba, he had envisioned the human resource needs of the country, many years down the line and made a strategic move, very few could comprehend back then.”
On behalf of his colleagues Mr Asafo Agyei expressed gratitude to former president Rawlings and the people of Ghana for the scholarship opportunity and encouraged subsequent governments to continue it.
Portions of the citations read “On behalf of all those whose lives you have touched, directly and indirectly, over the past several decades, through the Cuban Scholarship Project, we the members of the Cuban Trained Ghanaian Graduates Association (ESBECANS) would like to say a big thank you to you for making such a monumental difference in our lives.”