The politicization of the structure of Ghana’s educational system has handicapped secondary education, the Central University President, Professor Kwesi Yankah has lamented.
Prof. Yankah holds the view that the short-lived extension of secondary education to four years was a positive step but political expediency ultimately saw a reversion to the three system at the expense of quality education.
“I think the statistics show. My analysis of the trends from 2006 to 2015 and now 2016 clearly show” that the four-year system was better than the current three years, he asserted on the Citi Breakfast Show.
‘It is clear the three years is not working’
The new system however lasted three academic years as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) assumed power in 2009 and reverted to the three year system which Prof. Yankah maintains was rushed and ill advised.
“In 2009, even without examining the outcomes of the four year project which had been introduce by the Kufuor regime, even without analysing it, or even without allowing it run its full course from year one, two, three, four – examining the results and determining if it was something productive or otherwise, they [the NDC government] just decided; let’s truncate it and restore the three year project.”
“So that is where the politics then comes in and now political again when it is so clear that the three years is not working. It is hurting our children, it is hurting parents, it is hurting industry, and it is hurting the country.”
NDC unwilling to admit mistake
Politics is also keeping the NDC government from admitting a mistake was made by reverting back to the three year system, according to Prof. Yankah.
“In spite of all this, nobody is stepping forward to say maybe we made a mistake, maybe we should listen to what Kufuor was saying. But if you mention Kufuor, it is politics. If you mention the policy that NPP introduced and that it was working and that what has turned out to be superior, that was political and that hurts. That is the problem with this country.”
The 2016 WASSCE
The quality of the country’s secondary education is a perennial hot topic when WASSCE results are released.
A breakdown of the 2016 WASSCE results reiterated the educational system’s struggle with Mathematics and the Sciences.
A total of 274,262 candidates participated in the 2016 exams and according to WAEC, a total of 125,065 students obtained A1 to C6 in English Language, which is 53.19%, 59,725 (25.40%) obtained D7-E8 whilst 46,595 (19.82%) had F9.
For Mathematics, 77,108 (32.83%) obtained A1-C6; 65,007 (27.68%) obtained D7-E8 whilst 89,477 (38.10%) had F9.
About 113,933 students obtained A1-C6 in Integrated Science which is 48.48%, 75,938 (32.32%) obtained D7-E8 whilst 42,519 (18.09%) had F9.