Prof Esi Awuah joined Africa Hall to mark its golden jubilee[/caption] Renowned educationist Professor Esi Awuah has bemoaned the over-concentration of Ghana’s educational curricula on grades’ acquisition at the expense of skills development. She says education should not just focus on impacting knowledge through lectures and laboratory practicals, but training individuals to provide quality service in their disciplines for sustainable development. “You may have a first class in your area of study but if you’re not able to use it to help society sustainably, then I’ll think that you’ve wasted your time here,” she said whilst addressing the launch of the 50th anniversary of Africa Hall, KNUST, in Kumasi. Prof. Esi Awuah, who is the Foundation Vice-Chancellor of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), said complementing academic qualifications with skills development will help secure jobs for young graduates and make them useful in society. The modus operandi for this kind of education, she says, should include group work, community actions, showing love and care towards one another and the environment. She particularly charged young women to look into the future by learning other skills to be self-sufficient. “You must work hard; you must learn how to cook, learn how to sow, learn how to braid hair… learn how to fix simple things like electrical problems like changing fuses, fixing your blender, electric stove and iron; plumbing works like removing dirt from the U-drain in the kitchen and bathrooms; and carpentry works like fixing door locks and polishing of furniture,” the professor admonished. Prof. Awuah also charged Africa Hall to establish a skill development scheme for others to emulate. Hall Warden Dr. Marian Nkansah acknowledged the current educational system tends to be grades-oriented as students have limited time to explore other areas of interest. She, however, says it behoves on parents and guardians to support their wards to nurture and develop homemaking and survival skills. “This is an area we would look at going forward and find a notch within the Hall’s administration to see how best we can inculcate these skills in the new generation of Africa Hall students who seem to have lost the essence of doing hands-on and all rounded people,” Dr. Nkansah noted. The theme for the anniversary celebration is “50 Years of Women Education and Empowerment in Nation Building”. The Africa Hall has turned out thousands of women in science and technology occupying various positions in the country and outside Ghana.