Gideon Adjei-Mawutor is an MPhil student at the [wiki]University of Ghana[/wiki], as well as the president of [wiki]Right for Education[/wiki] for the society at his university. R:Ed recently spoke to him both about his academic work, and involvement with the charity.
R:Ed: Can you tell us a bit about yourself first and what you do both within Right for Education, and outside of it?
I am a second year master’s student at the moment, pursuing a master’s in philosophy, so I am currently writing my dissertation. I am also the president of Right for Education for the University of Ghana society. My responsibilities are to coordinate meetings, to proofread and edit articles by students, and create meeting sessions to create a sense of community amongst the students here who are part of Right for Education.
R:Ed: How did you hear about Right for Education?
I got to know about Right for Education through Facebook. One day I was just scrolling through social media on my phone, probably around 2016 or 2017, and I liked the page so that I could get the updates and articles.
R:Ed: What do you think is the most important or effective aspect of Right for Education?
I think the important part is the topics of the articles. Most of the issues are very topical and when I see the headings of the articles I think ”okay I think I like this title, let me see what someone thinks about this issue.” Sometimes I go down a rabbit hole because after I finish reading one article I want to know more about the subject, so I find others related to it, and this can go on and on for ages.
R:Ed: Alongside working for Right for Education, you’re also doing an MPhil in Philosophy. What made you interested in the area that you’re studying in the first place?
I went into undergraduate study with the intention of studying business administration. I couldn’t do this because of my grades so I chose to do economics with philosophy and information studies instead. By the time I got to my fourth year I was just doing a double major in philosophy and economics, and both subjects went hand in hand. Although I liked economics, I sometimes felt that the background of it was a little bit flimsy. Philosophy gave me the opportunity to deconstruct, to really think about where ideas like capitalism and socialism come from. I could probably have continued with an MPhil in economics, but I felt like I was just calculating and writing in numbers, and I wanted to do something more.
R:Ed: How do you think your academic work with philosophy and your work with Right for Education help each other, if at all?
Philosophy has made me a little bit more open-minded than I was before I started my undergraduate studies. With this open mindedness that I have right now and with my work for Right for Education, there’s this interesting synergy. I’ve learnt that I am not really looking for particular write-ups [of articles] done in a particular way: as long as they are coherent and make logical sense that’s fine with me. I’m able to better appreciate other people’s points of view better without taking them personally, even if there is something which is shocking to me. I also think R:Ed has helped my realize how important education actually is, and how writing is actually about expressing oneself, and pushing out ideas. I think philosophy has given me the space to appreciate writing which led me to work for R:Ed. I realized that without my education of philosophy, I would probably be like a square box, and what I mean by that is I wouldn’t be as fluid. Alongside that Right for Education has provided me with a platform to engage with other ideas outside of my own experience, as well.
R:Ed: What do you see for the future of Right for Education?
That’s a tough one! I think that it is going to gain much more traction, particularly in my university, and probably in other public universities in my country too. I also think that there is going to be this set of new youthful people, like myself or even younger, who will have a thirst for reading and writing and a thirst for actually doing something that is beyond their vicinity or their location. Right for Education provides that platform for people to engage with wider ideas and at the same time it also helps one to have the courage to point out ideas that may be impertinent. So in the future I think Right for Education will be much bigger than it is now.
R:Ed: Finally, what is your favourite thing about working for Right for Education?
My favourite thing about working for Right for Education is the fact that I’m being pushed beyond what I thought I could do, because I have to. I have to establish better spaces in this industry and go to people for advice that I never thought I would go to. I’m surprised at myself, especially because I don’t see myself as someone who is particularly confident enough to talk to people like professors, but then because of my job with R:Ed I have to. It has also provided me with the opportunity to think and read other people’s work beyond my usual reach. When I see articles that catch my attention, I think “okay, this is probably pertinent, can I find other articles online which are similar?” I can comprehend what information is out there right now, and I think this is my favourite part.