Education as a value: a case study of Ghana and Russia
The importance of education differs across the world, but it is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Europe, the USA and Russia are noted for having a larger percentile of their residents educated in comparison with Africa - the most under-educated area in the world. Culture, among all, is based on values, social organizations, etc.; it is learned, not innate, and it derives from one’s social environment as a mental program of individuals (Hofstede, 1991). It makes us decide what to value, e.g. education. Geography and nature clearly affect culture (Diamond, 2005; Samovar & Porter, 1999); but could these purely environmental factors predominantly affect social behavior? Thus, the research question of this study is if this discrepancy results from the value level of education characteristic of different communities. A case study is on the two focus countries, i.e. Ghana and Russia.
In some cultures, education is a great blessing; it has served as a tool of enlightenment, leading to freedom in the mind and in life. In some communities, education is a barrier for social advancement, female education being a particular case in this context; in Ghana, they launched a campaign called ‘send your girl-child to school’ to curb discrimination.
The methods used in this research are both qualitative and quantitative, including interviews, questionnaires and expert report analysis. The research scope exceeded a hundred Russian and Ghanaian students and professionals.
Findings are preliminary. A female from Ghana reported her pride of having education. Another said she had ‘improved herself’. The study also revealed that despite the considerable effort the Ghanaian government has taken, there is still lesser involvement of female students in formal education due to poverty and culture restrains. Russians reported an ambiguous attitude: education is a ‘must-have’, but it does not secure a decent job.
Supervisor – Dr. A.N. Kuznetsov
1. Diamond, J. (2005). Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New York, Viking Press.
2. Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (1991). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind (Vol. 2). London: McGraw-Hill.
3. Samovar, L.A., Porter, R.E. (1999). Intercultural Communication: A Reader. Boston: Wadsworth Publishing.