The Provost of the College of Distance Education (CoDE) of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Prof George K. T. Oduro has advocated the abolishment of the secondary-technical concept in the country’s educational system, saying, “I do not think technicalising secondary education is useful in our present dispensation.”
Such schools, he explained, should be converted into either a full senior high school or a technical school to forestall imbalances in providing learning support in senior high and technical schools.
Prof Oduro said this at the fourth speech and prize giving day celebration of Nyarkrom Senior High Technical School in the Agona West district of the Central Region at the weekend.
The celebration was on the theme: “Quality education: A pre-requisite for national development”.
Prizes were given to deserving students and members of staff including teaching and non teaching staff.
Prof Oduro called for support in improving teaching and learning in schools offering technical education in order to improve teaching and learning in those institutions with the necessary training for the nation’s transformation process.
He lauded government’s initiative of the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) with financial support of $156 million from the World Bank to improve the quality education in at least 125 selected low-performing senior high schools.
“There is no doubt that the secondary school improvement project is laudable and has prospects for equity and quality delivery of senior high school education in our country,” he said.
With its over-emphasis on secondary education he wondered what would happen to the technical component of senior high-technical schools in the country.
“How do we ensure that attention given to the secondary component of these schools is balanced in such a way that students who attend such schools, specifically in rural contexts, are not disadvantaged in terms of what they learn?” he asked.
Prof Oduro further said that quality education was the pivot around which the nation’s development revolves and stressed the need for the country to ensure that human and material inputs that go into education were of quality.
He further noted that the nation must be interested in the teaching-learning processes within the school, saying, “The mere provision of infrastructure, textbooks, libraries, laboratories among others do not provide a holistic picture of quality education”.
“As stakeholders, we should be interested in what happens to the student in the classroom, how the teacher uses his or her teaching time, how both teachers and students use teaching and learning materials; what happens to the exercises that teachers assign students,” he said.
Prof Oduro further explained that the indicators for quality education necessary for accelerating national development need to be viewed beyond academic achievement, adding that, “It should be seen as a type of education that provides students with the support necessary for their total development”.
He later presented a computer to the school to be used for administrative purposes.
The headmistress of Nyarkrom Senior High and Technical School, Ms. Kate Annan-Wilberforce, in her address, appealed for support for the transformation of the school as one of the best in the country.
She noted that the performances of some of the students were affected since those students had to perform menial jobs to cater for themselves due to the poverty level in the area while others were orphans.
She indicated the resolve of the school’s administration’s quest to maintain discipline in the school and urged parents and guardians to support the school in moulding the students in order for them to contribute their quota towards national development.
The Central Regional Minister, Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, in his address, urged the students to take their studies seriously in order to justify investment being made in their education.
From David O. Yarboi-Tetteh, Agona Nyarkrom