UW/R: Regional Minister bemoans falling standards of education
The Upper West Regional Minister Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih has bemoaned the fallen standards of education in the region despite the investment government is making in the sector.
According to the minister, despite the investment in infrastructure, stationary and the renumeration of workers in the sector, it is not reflecting in the performance at both the BECE and WASSCE levels.
The Minister who was speaking during the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council’s meeting in Wa said, though there has been marginal increment in the pass rate in the BECE and WASSCE, efforts must be put in place to increase performance in the region.
Dr. Bin Salih used the opportunity to tout government’s investment in the flagship Free SHS policy in the region. He said, ” a lot of support has been provided to the Ghana Education Service in the region on terms of pickups for each directorate in the region for monitoring”.
The Acting Regional Director of Education Z. Abdul Korah who took his turn to address the meeting admitted to the drop in performance of students in the region with a promise to turn the fortunes of the region around in the 2021/2022 academic year.
He disclosed that the regional directorate is engaging subject examiners to take the students through how to answer examination questions.
He added that, teachers with subject specialization will be posted to senior high schools and that seminars will be organized for final students.
These according to him, will change the face of education in the region.
Addressing the Upper West Region Youth Parliament during the International Youth Day celebration in Wa, in 2019,Mr Justine Kpan, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Ghana Education Service (GES) presented statistics on the abysmal BECE performance in the region for the past six years.
He said in 2013, the region presented a total of 10,625 candidates out of which 4,005 passed the exams representing 37.69 per cent.
This dropped to 28.81 per cent when only 3,544 candidates passed the exams out of the total of 12,300 candidates presented in 2014.
Furthermore, only 1,189 candidates representing 28.87 per cent passed their exams out of the total number of 12,440 candidates that were presented for the BECE in 2015.
In 2016, a total number of 12,430 candidates were presented out of which 3,789 passed representing 30.48 per cent.
However, there was an appreciable increase to 41.09 per cent in 2017 when a total of 4,900 candidates passed the examination out of the general population of 11,926 candidates presented.
This again dropped to 34.14 per cent when 4,174 candidates passed out of the 12,225 candidates presented in 2018.
Mr Kpan noted that the 2018 BECE lowest performance of 17.45 per cent among the districts was recorded by the Nandom District and this was closely followed by Jirapa District with 17.51 per cent.
Lambussie District and Lawra Municipal inched it up a bit by recording 20.12 per cent and 20.62 per cent respectively.
Equally, Nadowli-Kaleo and Daffiama-Bussie-Issa improved marginally by recording 21.39 per cent and 22.40 percent respectively.
Also competing in the 40s bracket are Sissala West, 40.71 percent; Wa West, 42.33 per cent; and Wa Municipal, 49.42 per cent.
Even at the District level, only Wa East crossed 50 per cent when it led the league table with a total score of 61.90 per cent.
Mr Kpan blamed the abysmal performance majorly on too much interference in the management of education especially in the area of human resource management.
“If you move to some of the schools in some districts, you will find just one trained teacher in a whole school as against several National Service and Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) personnel in the school”, he lamented.
The PRO added that this interference had made it so difficult for them to evenly distribute the human resource within the service.
“The problem is, you send a teacher there and you receive a thousand phone calls asking you to revert the posting as if the people there do not deserve a bit of the national cake”, he again lamented.
Mr Kpan also identified lack of teachers’ accommodation as one of the challenges to poor academic performance in the region.
He therefore proposed to the various District Youth Parliaments to impress upon their District Assemblies to put up what was known as cluster of accommodation to accommodate teachers from different schools that were within the same locality.
This, he said would reduce time spent on commuting and increase contact hours to bring about improved performance at the BECE level in the region.
Mr Kpan was speaking on the theme: “The Role of the Youth in Contributing to quality education in Ghana”.
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