General News of Wednesday, 25 January 2017
There is nothing wrong with the three-year senior high school system but the teaching methods should be reconsidered for effective learning, retired diplomat K.B. Asante has said.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has not taken any decision yet to reverse the three-year system to a four-year one, but the debate has resurfaced following the recent change in government.
The four-year SHS system was implemented during the John Agyekum Kufuor-led administration but was reversed by the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government succeeded Mr Kufuor’s.
Contributing to the discussion on the Executive breakfast Show on Class91.3FM on Wednesday January 25, Mr Asante said the problem with Ghana’s education was not one with the number of years.
“If our teaching is bad and people are not doing well, we should tackle that question. There is nothing wrong with the three years,” he told show host Moro Awudu.
“If we look into history, our Gold Coasters used to finish elementary school at 17 years and so on and we thought that this was bad so we tried to reduce it. At Achimota [School], it was a major experiment. We tried to reduce the number of years spent in the secondary school. We tried to get people what we call double promotion and jumped them in classes, … over the years we have our own students taking what we called O’ Levels at 14 years and so on, which is similar to what happens in Britain and so on. With the new system, if we are not producing competent people who are good enough for the O’ Levels, we are to look at our teaching methods; it is not the duration.
“Of course you can let them sit here for 10 years and so on and they will produce exactly what they are doing now. So, please let us find out why standards are falling and so on and it’s not the syllabus. There is no syllabus in heaven you have to complete before you are educated. But we can look at the syllabus, what…we make them learn and we will find out that even that can be modified so that…we learn to learn at school and not just to pass our exams and go and sleep. Let’s look at the fundamentals, not the years.”