The trend is very worrying to stakeholders of education. According to information gathered, 50% of BECE candidates failed to impress and qualify for the SHS however, they were given admission 2018 if not for the government free SHS policy. The GES cuts access to Free SHS to Aggregate 25 is worth reading
GES must indicate the cause of low performance
The decision by the Ghana Education Service to cuts access to Free SHS to Aggregate 25 is a move in the right direction however, there is the need for stakeholders to know the factors responsible for this poor performance and what and how the ministry of education and the Ghana Education Service intends to deal with this.
The poor performance at the BECE and WASSCE cannot happen without a reason. Over 190,000 WASSCE candidates failed in mathematics at the 2018 exams and could not gain admission to universities. Ghanaians must begin to seek for accountability from our educators.
Ghanaians expect that the GES would have conducted research into the reasons for the failure of candidates with the help of government and the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC).
It is not uncommon for many to conclude that the students did not take their books serious and had a poor preparation towards the exams hence the poor outcome.
There is the need to examine the quality of teachers, the teaching methods and teachers’ understanding of the subject matter they teach. The quality of leadership provided by heads of schools cannot be overlooked in this matter in our quest to unravel the mystery of the high rate of failure.
This way, the cause of the poor performance at the BECE and WASSCE can be known, new knowledge will be added to our current understanding of the causes. This will help put measures in place and the recommendations of such research put into action to apply the brakes on the rate of failure.
2018 School placement – Mockery of “Big Schools”
We made a mockery of “Big” schools like PRESSEC, and Achimota in 2018 during the school placement. Candidates who scored aggregate 48 gained admission to Senior High School, some to PRESEC Legon.
The fact that the Free SHS was made open made pupils lazy and unchallenged to learn because they knew well that, they will gain admission without working hard.
This excellent and novel idea and policy should be relooked at to ensure that, the government is not throwing money away in the name of educating the countries human resource. Graduates of the basic school must show high level of seriousness and academic excellence and the readiness to work hard merit this scholarship or Free SHS.
We must put away politics as a nation and give this country’s teaming school going children, quality education that is relevant to their needs, talents, capabilities and the future needs of the country.
It is one thing having every child who has taken the BECE going to school and it is another ensuring that, investments made in their education through the free SHS yields results that will positively impact our human resource as a country. I the low performance continues at the BECE and WASSCE, our future human resource will be in serious jeopardy.
As a nation, if we focus on the immediate benefits of free SHS to parents in the form of savings on tuition rather than the quality delivered, we may regret in the future.
If the government continues to throw her weight around blowing its own trumpet instead of ensuring that, teaching and none teaching staff are lead, inspired and motivated enough to give off their best, our efforts will be in vain. The government must make its quality policies, decisions, and their implementations speak for itself.
Sadly many of the candidates, who should have gone to learn a trade, have all gone to the secondary school. Persons with very bad Mathematics and Science backgrounds for example are reading Science at the secondary school instead of the arts.
How many of such students will pick up and excel as science students before they sit for the WASSCE? The long run likely effect of this is that, we will have educated youth who have been educated in fields that do not match their interest and talent.
Some students who did the self placement in 2018 placed themselves in schools not because they wanted to be in such schools in the first place but because, those were the only schools with vacancies. Most of the vacancies in these schools were for science students.