Thursday, 30 April 2009

What you learnt in school

Folks sorry I have left this space blank for sometime. I just managed to make some space and would be hitting here more often. I have been contributing to another blog also, World of Opinion( just check in my profile and it is the other blog apart from Modin).Please do feel free to take a look. It is more intellectually stimulating.

I present some of the things they made us study.

1. Sliding level, dove tail joint, cement to sand ratio(4:1:2) - I remember we had to chew in large numbers the right order for mixing cement, laying bricks or in wood work how to cut a dove tail joint. Step 1 measure the length of the wood- Tool tape Step 2. Cut a diagonal across the wood-tools – a G clamp and hack saw etc etc.. This was with the hope that we would become carpenters and masons after completing school and go on to build little mansions. Don’t know if any of my friends are using a sliding bevel yet. In actual fact the only time I saw a dove tail joint was in the TS book. I have never seen it anywhere else and not sure if I’d recognise it if I saw one. Anyway I can still hit a nail through a wood and paint my room.

2. Solfa notation-harmonic scale, Dminor scale etc. Yes, music is food for the soul. But believe me that learning the various types of major and minor scales, sharps and flats is no music to the soul. Well at least knowing what a membranophone was might earn you something although I can’t be sure what exactly that something is.This was pure boring ‘’Cultural Studies’’ and studying this did not make one a Mozart or Michael Jackson.

3. Forts and castles- Few of the beneficial stuff. Although difficult chewing the names of the forts and castles, name of the original owners and date of building this it was a good exercise, but at least we should have been made to visit at five or more of these lesser known castles and forts. Then at least we would know what they looked like. Anyway I still remember that Christianborg Castle was built by the Danes.. or????....

4. Rivers in Ghana- River Oti, River Ankobra , Black Volta, White Volta etc. I remember we had to learn the longest, the sources, regions and etc of these rivers. I have forgotten most of them. My task now is to try to see what is left of these rivers in Ghana.(ie if they have not dried up yet). Very useful but as in above -- we should have been made to see these rivers and not be limited to see them in the text books.

5. When JJ started the school reforms there was hope for the new system that it would produce better students. In anticipation of this, songs of adoration of the system were made in the various local languages of Ghana and taught across Ghana to little school children like me. Although I can vaguely remember some these, I still do not understand the language of these songs and neither did the teacher who taught me!- by the way , please if you happen to know the meaning of ”De viela pam, kitikati bam shegu” or the language please do contact me.

6. A lot more useful ones were the history classes. Sumanguru, Sundiata and the likes of Mansa Musa were inspiring. I really enjoyed the Social Studies classes mainly because of the history classes. Maybe the volcanic eruptions and the sedimentary rocks should have come later when one decided to do Geography in Secondary School.

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