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Football and academics

Rosemary Mroba Gaisie/Radio Ghana Ghana Broadcasting Corporation/Twenty Ten

Football competes with Ghanaian academic work

Location: Accra, Ghana

CUE: Take football as the globe. Ghana is located on the Greenwich Meridian and not far from the Equator. So many Ghanaian fans regard themselves as being at “the centre of the game”, considering the kind of emotion the game of football evokes in the country. Work comes to standstill right from the seat of government to work on the farm when national and international football matches are being played. Fans who could afford going to the stadia go, others watch matches on television. And farmers and others in remote villages listen to commentaries on radio. In educational circles, football is increasingly competing with academic work, according to Radio Ghana’s Rosemary Gaisie who has been finding out more from some secondary and tertiary institutions in the nation’s capital Accra.

FX: MALE STUDENTS FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS SINGING - 00:07” [PLAY FOR 07’ AND FADE UNDER VOICE]

LINK 1: Ghanaian students call this “jama” - a group of people singing mostly to whip up morale and interest in a sport or any physical activity. Accra Academy is a Boy’s senior high institution in the capital. Founded in 1931, the boys’ school has carved a niche for itself in the inter colleges’ football competition as it has almost always been classified among the best. Aside academic work, Accra Academy prides itself in producing soccer stars. Coach J.E. Sarpong is the Head of the school’s physical education department.

CLIP 1: COACH SARPONG ON ACCRA ACA AND FOOTBALL- 00:22”

LINK 2: A final year student of the school aims at becoming a soccer star.

CLIP 2: ACCRA ACADEMY STUDENT AND FOOTBALL – 00:10”

LINK 3: In as much as Ghanaian students are keen on their academic work, some,, including females just cannot do without football. Students from a professional institution like the Ghana Institute of Journalism, and the nation’s premier university, University of Ghana, dare to compromise studies for the big game. This is especially so when the euphoria is at its peak.

FX: GOAL SCORING FADE UNDER VOX POP-00:08”

CLIP 3: VOX POP -STUDENTS SKIP LECTURES-00:30”

LINK 4: Interestingly, the passion for football among Ghanaian students is mostly linked to foreign clubs and a few national teams with players who ply their trade abroad. To these students, missing lectures to see their idols play is not a big deal. They claim they can make up for the lost time in their studies. Listen to their experiences.

CLIP 4: VOX POP STUDENTS’ EXPERIENCE-00:37”

LINK 5: Some lecturers become helpless. But have they themselves not been gripped by the soccer fever? This is a question I put to a lecturer at the Institute of Journalism.

CLIP 5: LECTURER, GHANA INSTITUTE OF JOURNALISM-00:19”

LINK 6: Another lecturer from the University of Ghana talks about his school days and the current interest of students in football.

CLIP 6: LECTURER, UNIVERSITY OF GHANA-00:30”

LINK 7: From the students’ and some lecturers’ perspective, football is almost at par if not already at par with academic work. Why is this trend catching on? Dr Obiri Yeboah, Dean School of Business, Accra Polytechnic.

CLIP 7: A DEAN AT ACCRA POLYTECHNIC- 00:09”

LINK 8: The view of the Rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism is not quite different.He however places emphasis on media hype and the financial gains in football

CLIP 8: RECTOR, INSTITUTE OF JOURNALISM-00:30”

LINK 9: This is where the world’s most popular game, football, has gotten to in the Ghanaian society. Students have just taken it to another level. A politically polarized country with ethnic diversity becomes united when Ghana is playing another country. And when Ghana wins, many fans appeal to the President to declare a national holiday for celebrations. But at the expense of productivity and academic work? For one thing, the game of passion, soccer instils peace among Ghanaians. May all nations know peace through soccer but for higher productivity.

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