The debate surrounding the duration of Ghana’s senior high school education has been resurrected by the vice chancellor of Central University College, Professor Kwesi Yankah, who is proposing a blend of the 3-year-4-year system.
According to the Professor, the implementation of his proposal should be dependent on the capacity, infrastructure and placement of a particular school.
Prof. Yankah said these at the occasional lecture organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, where he bemoaned the social inequalities in access to education.
Senior High School or SHS education was introduced in 2007 after a heated debate amongst educationists in the country over the expansion over the system to four years.
The policy was however reversed after three years of implementing the 4-Year system, as a result, there was no graduation in 2010, and two separate year groups graduated in 2013.
Per his analysis, students from the 4-year period performed considerably better than their 3 year colleagues.
National performance trends from 2006 to 2015 indicated the 4 year students performed better. Examination mal practice reduced during the period.
Professor Kwesi Yankah further indicated that the success rate however depends on the contact hours spent in the various schools.
He said “the one size fit all policy where the duration of SHS is fixed by policy, either 3 or 4 years, promotes and exacerbates prevailing social inequalities. The shorter duration creates stress for poor schools and deprived students while the 4 year duration which is generally less stressful, creates unnecessary redundancies and is time consuming for high flyers.”
Professor Yankah believes the success of either of the two policies depends on access to adequate social inequities in education.
“The flexibility of the proposed scheme is a blend of the three year and the four year systems. It’s in itself a source of stability. It is all inclusive and acknowledges a profound social inequity in the country which cannot be remedied in a one size fits all policy.”
Professor Kwesi Yankah was speaking at the 2016 edition of the occasional lecture organized by the Ghana academy of arts and sciences on the topic: “The three year-four-year school pendulum: towards a stable public policy on Senior High Education.”