Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Patrick Awuah of Ashesi University

There have been many links posted on many blogs to speeches from last June's TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Global Conference held in Arusha, Tanzania. I was sent this link a few week by Natasha Dantzig, one of the conference staff.

It features Patrick Awuah, co-founder of Ashesi University, small liberal arts college whose mission is to educate leaders of integrity and competence for Africa.

Awuah moved back to Ghana after living in the US for about 10 years to set-up the university. In the video, he talks about his belief that leadership is a major problem in Africa and how today's young people are trained will make all the difference in the continent's future. Ashesi University sets out to do that, offering "a liberal arts education, steeped in critical thinking, idealism, and public service, which is the only way to produce quick-thinking, ethical adults" (from Awuah's bio).

Aside from a focus on ethics and leadership, in the video, Awuah touches on the uncritical mindeset brought about by the rote-learning style of education common on the continent. Having spent time with a group of very intelligent secondary school students and seeing how rote-learning stifles creativity, I feel very strongly about incorporating methods that stimulate critical thinking.

1 comment:

Joseph Foray Jnr said...

Rote learning, though can be helpful in early stages of development- when continued throughout school stifles creativity. The Ashesi education challenges the everyday status quo and forces students to be imaginative and creative. This kind of education will go a long way to raising thinking leaders in Africa. I'm proud to be a beneficiary.