I deem it a great privilege to have the opportunity to express my opinion on the boarding system of education. Though the boarding system has its own demerits, its advantages convince me to opt for it rather than the day system.
To set the ball rolling is national integration, an indispensable factor in human development. As youthful as our population is, the hope of the nation thriving, depends greatly on us. Fortunately, the boarding system, among its numerous benefits, binds us together as a people. Coming all the way from different backgrounds, families and religions, we are taught consciously or unconsciously how to live together. As inscribed in the Good Book says in Proverbs 27:17 “…as the iron sharpeneth iron, a man sharpeneth the other”. This, you would agree with me, bears witness to the fact that, in the boarding system, we are groomed to tolerate and blend into each other’s culture. This gem prepares us to live well as a people and as a nation.
One may argue that “the day system after all exposes us to the same diversity”. As true as this statement is, we are only exposed superficially to our contemporaries due to the little time we spend with them. For example, due to the diversity of people he met back in the days on this sacred hill, Kofi Annan was able to promote peace in the world. It is very likely, this enviable quality may not have been birthed if he had attended a day school.
Further, in the boarding system, we are trained to face life as it ought to be faced. Abraham Lincoln is alleged to have once said (I paraphrase) that, “If I am given six hours to cut a tree, I would spend four hours sharpening the ax.” This statement emphasizes that life, as we know, must be faced with a high degree of tenacity to avoid unnecessary setbacks and failures. The boarding school plays a major role in training the young ones to face life well.
For example, let us assume the boarding system to be a work setting. At the workplace, there is no time to waste. One has to work with a great deal of industry and diligence to increase productivity. This is mimicked as going to class punctually and doing one’s assignments as well as other responsibilities encapsulated in the School’s constitution. In the boarding house these activities help us to have a taste of life and its challenges. This forces us to build dexterity to stand as stalwarts in the world. Some of these indispensable equipment are proper time management, excellent money management, punctuality and a host of attributes. These unfortunately are scarcely found in the day system. Also, the boarding system forces us to develop some characters that boost our efficiency and effectiveness in the world.
Last but not the least, the boarding system helps us to build better and healthier associations as compared with the day system. Undeniably, some people are very good at pretending and deceiving others, but as the sun cannot be infinitely hidden by the dawn, these bad nuts are exposed with time. This is however only possible when you are exposed to the person for a long time. The boarding system, in light of this, gives us the chance to select our friends well and build good associations.
As a great man rightly articulated, “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to go far, go with people.” Apart from the fact above, it also saves us from bad people as we learn to be careful in how we select the people we associate and work with.
In the long run, these points make the boarding system an excellent system for the development of an individual, especially in their adolescence.
Garshong Jacob Nii Adjetey is a Form 3 Student of Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast Ghana and a member of the School’s National Science and Maths Quiz team.