General News of Tuesday, 16 August 2016
The Executive Director of VIAM Africa is calling for a review of the country’s education policy to cater for the majority of the country’s youth who do not make it past the Senior High School level.
Dr Prince Armah believes the dreams of many young men and women are shattered because the educational system does not make adequate provision for those who do not have the aptitude to go past the secondary level.
His comments on TV3’s Agenda comes at a time the nation is wailing over poor results recorded at the just ended WASSCE released just a week ago.
Over 60% of the pupils who sat for this year’s exams could not pass for a place in the university education.
That has triggered another debate with stakeholders and politicians blaming each other.
Even though the results were a slight improvement over results released last year, there has been a general consensus that the country needs to do better.
In a panel discussion, Dr Prince Armah said the country must be able to set a clear objective about what it wants to achieve in these examinations.
Currently, he identified two major objectives the secondary school examination is providing which to serve as a matriculation or a qualifying entry for few people into the university and also serves as terminal point for majority who do not have the aptitude to make it into the tertiary level.
“What do we do for those who do not have the aptitude to go further from the SHS?” he asked, pointing to a collapsed technical and vocational training.
He was even more disappointed that there was no data on the number of students who are unable to proceed beyond the SHS level and what exactly they have been doing after their exam.
Dr Armah said instead of government “rebranding polytechnics” as universities, there must be a conscious government policy aimed at equipping many of the students who do not make it past the SHS level with technical and vocational skills which will help them in life.
Prof Kwasi Yankah who was also on the show agreed largely with Dr Armah saying that entry into the university for many of these students has become a do-it-or commit-suicide affair.
“We are only university driven; we have put so much attention on university education; it is either university education or suicide,” he mocked, adding, it is time to open other opportunities, like training colleges.
Prof Yankah also lamented the social disparities in the country which makes the BECE and WASSCE “a bit problematic.”
He would rather the country reverts to the four year SHS policy which he said recorded some of the best results in recent history.