‘Cancel BECE’


Prince Hamidu Armah
Prince Hamidu Armah, a UK-based Ghanaian educationist, has called for a comprehensive education system in the country.

He indicated that an education system where after primary six, the student could progress to six years senior high school (SHS) education from SHS 1 to SHS 6 is what the country needs.

He was of the opinion that by that arrangement, the Basic Education Certificate Education (BECE) which, according to him, has become a major impediment to access to secondary education could be cancelled.

The educationist stressed that expanding access to secondary education is not only a matter of building new schools, or rehabilitating and expanding existing ones, neither is it about providing free secondary education, but, ‘It is conceptually about removing barriers to secondary education which BECE has been widely acknowledged.’

He stated, ‘For if we build more new schools and refurbish existing ones without a corresponding increased enrolment in these schools, of what sense is it?’ he queried.

Mr Armah, a former tutor at St John’s School in Sekondi and currently a PhD candidate (Mathematics Education) of the University of Aberdeen, UK, was commenting on the fallen standards of education in Ghana in an interview with DAILY GUIDE.

He proposed that between SHS 4 to SHS 6, students could write examinations and present coursework leading to entry to vocational education and training nursing and teacher training colleges, polytechnics and other higher educational levels.

‘Our appetite for grouping all post-secondary education in one homogeneous entity should be abandoned as they have different roles to play in training the human resource needs of the country,’ he added.

Mr Armah suggested that the country’s internal examinations could be moderated by a proposed examination body to be called the Ghana Examination and Qualification Authority (GEQA).

The proposed GEQA, among others, could perform the functions of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and provide accreditation for pre-tertiary schools who write their examination as well.

‘This also means we would no longer be under the over 50 years WAEC treaty where examination does not reflect the needs of Ghanaian society,’ the educationist added.

He pointed out that the WAEC certificates issued to secondary school graduates appeared to be sub-standard as holders are required to take foundation programmes before entry to undergraduate degree courses at UK universities.

Mr Armah indicated that Ghana needs to set up a National Credit and Qualification Framework (NCQF) that would clearly specifies each qualification and its level, which would feed into the whole education system.

‘I recommend that the present National Technical and Vocational Education and Training Qualifications Framework (NTVETQF) be reviewed and integrated into the proposed NCQF,’ he stated.

From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi
 
 
 

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