General News of Saturday, 15 September 2018
The Deputy Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has dismissed suggestions that the implementation of the double-track system will negatively affect quality of senior high school (SHS) education in the country.
According to him, the country already has a “terrible” school system and the introduction of the double-track system is one of the measures being implemented by government to solve it.
“I think quality should not be associated with the double track. We have a terrible school system. Terrible! And I think it has to change for the better,” he said..
The double-track SHS system which took off last Wednesday was introduced by the government this year to cater for the increase in enrolment following the implementation of its flagship education policy, the Free SHS policy.
Although the introduction of the system has been met with mixed reactions from stakeholders, government says the move is to ensure that no qualified child is left out of SHS admission.
Quality of education
Speaking on Accra-based Joy FM’s Newsfile programme on Saturday, Dr Adutwum noted that although the concerns raised by stakeholders are genuine, the issues raised about the quality of education in the country should be linked to several factors and not the new education policy.
He said, “…when you look at the WASSCE, year in and out about 65 percent do not get the credit that takes them to tertiary, that tells you, you don’t have a system that is functioning well.
“So something needs to be done, but that something that needs to be done should not be linked to the double-track system. Let’s begin to track performance going forward,” he added.
“We are doing what people call ‘chew, pour, pass and forget’ and I call that ‘chew, pour, fail and forget’. Children are not retaining the learning in such a way that when it is exams time they don’t have to memorize and they can still do well.
“So before [introduction of] double-track, the system has not been performing,” he added.
In order to address the issue, however, Dr Adutwum mentioned plans by the Ministry of Education to roll out an assessment programme for two subjects- English Language and Mathematics.
He explained that every single student will be assessed in primary two, four and six to determine how pupils are performing at every level and that head teachers whose pupils fail this assessment will then have to devise ways of improving the situation at that level before they progress to the next stage.