If we make every attempt to increase our Knowledge in order to use it for human good, it will make a difference in us and in our world. – Ben Carson.
Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting. –Aldous Huxley.
Yes. Read. Read books, that is how we get to some place in life. That is the message from Kurt Schmoke to young people. Kurt himself; was a former mayor of Baltimore, a voracious reader and a man of truly outstanding intellectual accomplishments.
It’s indeed exciting to begin this write up with these powerful thoughts on reading. It’s breathtaking and worth some moments of reflection; but this is indeed a fact:
Knowledge builds up. Knowledge applied brings transformation in society. Its great indeed to have an education; especially one based on the core pillars of Ashesi University: Scholarship, Leadership, Citizenship.
Ashesi ensures you’re not only a scholar, you’re also a leader, you’re not only a leader; you imbibe the values of citizenship. Yes. A citizen; not a spectator.
What is citizenship? The right or status to be a legal and integral member of society or a nation. Citizenship connotes patriotism. A citizen stands up for what is right; what is ethical. What adds value and brings about transformation. A citizen makes the world a better place than he met it.
It’s great for an entire population to be educated. It’s also more powerful for those who have earned an education to transform society positively. Build up systems, policies and procedures that improves how work is done.
Knowledge acquisition alone is not enough. We need persons of character. Ethical human beings who will stand up for truth. Leaders who will not use their positions, influence or office to perpetuate fraud in society. People of integrity. Persons who can lead a new agenda that fights against the cultural roots of corruption in Africa.
We say a whole lot about education. We somehow forget about character, ethical values and discipline; which are more endearing. More impactful. That “X” factor that is most crucial to the success of a nation and continent.
Africa needs more ethical leaders than just men with book knowledge. A good number of our high place public servants have book knowledge with little or no integrity. Sad to say, but corruption and unethical behavior is deeply ingrained in the African society. It’s only a paradigm shift that will turn the dynamics in Africa’s favor. The Ashesi mission to educate and rebuild a new brand of ethical and entrepreneurial leaders in Africa is a golden concept that Ghana and Africa should invest in a hundred percent.
Some public institutions in Ghana were marveled when in 2008, Ashesi University introduced its Honour code. The honour code is a signed promise by students to uphold integrity and not cheat during examinations with no invigilators present. Students will also report their colleagues if they cheat on the examination.
To the dismay of many, it worked. It’s an enviable standard at Ashesi today; that examinations are done without invigilators present and virtually nothing goes amiss. No human society is perfect but this is the standard the University is determined to live by. Student who tried in the past to test the system by cheating got heavily sanctioned and even lost their student status at the institution.
The call to ethical behavior may seem as a distant ideal in Ghana and Africa. However; that is the way Africa ought to go. It’s a gradual mental shift from the old ways of doing things.
When we see our public officials engage in fraud, bribery and misappropriation of funds, what does it tell us? – That there is something fundamentally wrong with how we educate and train our people. We must train more ethical people and the society will be greatly transformed.
Ashesi students do not only build robots and write programming codes; they do not only understand concepts in class; - They also stand up for strong ethical values to make society better.
The Ashesi brand is a masterclass that sets students on another pedestal above their peers. The Ashesi Way is the beginning of a solid foundation that builds men and women of integrity and scholarship ready to impart their generation in a significant way.
Come and experience an education in a beautiful environment that challenges the status quo and brings out the best in you.
It doesn’t end there; it’s still work in progress. But with the commitment of our leaders in Ghana and Africa, we can set a new agenda of building a society of highly principled and ethical leaders who can propel Africa’s destiny to higher heights.
Thank you Dr. Patrick Awuah, (founder and President of Ashesi) for your bold step and sacrifice to drive such a noble vision for Africa. We are eternally grateful.
It’s deeply gratifying to say –I’m glad to be an alumnus.
More on Ashesi from the links below. Enjoy