A former Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Michael Kenneth Nsowah says Ghana’s educational curriculum is overloaded and that is affecting the quality of education in the country.
Speaking at the first national conference of the University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (UTAG) at the University of Ghana on Wednesday, Mr Nsowah lamented that although most countries conducted assessments to identify challenges and make recommendations to improve education quality, very few of those recommendations are implemented.
He said countries like Ghana have the desire to review its educational systems to adopt new strategies to bring about improvements including curriculum innovation however it tends to regard the school as the only education agency in society. He said this is leading to the country having too many objectives for its basic school curriculum.
“In Ghana many education reviews have been undertaken but the curriculum continue to be overloaded or very ambitious. In what has been referred to as the good old days. Some of us wrote the common entrance, the equivalent of today’s BECE in two subjects; English and Maths… but today BECE candidates write exams in nine subjects,” he noted.
He said schools must not be made to assume responsibility for every form of education students need else they risk compromising on quality education.
Quoting a 1990 research report presented at the 11th conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers
In Barbados, he said Malaysia which adopted only five (5) subjects to be taught in basic schools, emphasized on skills such as language and mathematical thinking, and subjects in the pure sciences, social sciences and vocational skills.
He noted that other agencies within society must also be engaged in educating pupils.
He called for educational curriculum that made room for in-classroom and out-classroom lessons to promote holistic learning.
“Why must the school teach everything in the classroom, it is because we are obsessed with exams and we are moving dangerously to very dangerous points.,. We are assuming that when you write an exam on a subject, you have developed the habit but I don’t think that is true.”
He also bemoaned the lack of linkages to connect pre-tertiary to tertiary education leading to the situation where each level is blaming the other for the poor quality of products churned out.
The theme for the conference was “The Quality of Manpower and Teaching at the Pre-Tertiary Level: Its Impact on University Education.”