Can you tell us something about youth unemployment in Ghana?
"The basis of our unemployment problem is the curriculum that we are using. Our curriculum is only focussed on writing exams and passing. People come out of school without skills."
Only 10% of graduates find a job within the first year of leaving school. How's that possible?
"Our curriculum is educating people for white-collar jobs. But they [the white-collar sector] are already choked. The only people who are being replaced are the ones that go on retirement. And when you look at the analysis, 10% of the people go on retirement every year. We are not creating new employment. And that is what is creating the problem. We are all depending on the existing jobs that have been there for centuries."
What are the causes of youth unemployment?
"The current youth wants to get a job from their interest. But that never exists. You have to start somewhere. When you ask the youth what it is that they want to be engaged in, they talk about the banks, customs or police. Because they think that these are the only good jobs. None of the youth wants to start from scratch. The preferences of the youth do not match with the available jobs."
In what way does the new curriculum help improve the unemployment issue?
"The new curriculum is operating on three domains. The first domain is about knowledge, understanding an application. This is the responsibility of the teacher. The second domain is process skills. And the third domain is about values and attitudes. These skills are what is going to help them to come with their own innovations. It means that we move holistically to the standards of the world. They learn to be critical thinkers and to not depend on white-collar jobs. The new curriculum is about standards."
How can the education system help solve the youth unemployment problem?
"It will help, because from now on the youth will learn leadership skills, innovating skills, digital literacy, and communication skills. This will start in kindergarten, all the way senior high school. These skills will make them who they are and not what they have to be."
What's the best subject to study in if you want to be certain of a job?
"The best course is what's in your interest. Do not study something because of what society says is best for you. Moreover, parents have to be educated about this. Allow your child to do what his interest is. That is the best."