I was recently observing a group of Ghanaian school children marching to their destination in regimented lines. It reminded me of an incident when I was at school. A hated teacher made the Sixth Formers rearrange their crash helmets so they all faced in the same direction. We were gob-smacked by his ridiculous pettiness.
These examples of pettiness are probably against all educational theory in the UK. We are supposed to remove restrictions and let the children be free in order to release their creativity. Yet it seems to me that these examples actually help create a sense of self-discipline and focus the mind – because of their pettiness.
The results speak for themselves. Ghanaian youth live in a chaotic, sprawling environment yet they are able to control their personal environments which are ordered, neat and tidy. Is it not the opposite in the UK? The machine-like, government controlled external environment contrasts with the hopelessly chaotic personal environment of the child, who feels totally lost.