The over-concentration on passing examination in tertiary schools poses a threat to the nation’s education system, says Dr. George Afeti, Chairman of the African Union’s expert group on vocational and technical education and training.
Describing the disturbing trend as the “tyranny of examinations”, he said the over-concentration on examination and the high quest for paper certificate has resulted in the situation where teaching and learning is geared mainly towards examinations rather than building the mental faculties and skills capacity of students.
Addressing the 20th matriculation ceremony of the Koforidua Polytechnic in the Eastern Region, at the weekend, Dr. Afeti said it was regrettable that learning has become of memorisation towards examination, rather than understanding to develop the ability for analysis and critical thinking.
“A first class degree is of no value to the society if the holder of such certificate cannot contribute to the development and progress of the country,” he said, indicating that the purpose of examinations should be to identify the weaknesses of students in order to help them succeed in developing their talents and potentials, and not to be the final determinant of their potentials.
“Tertiary education institutions must become more of a space for character formation, personal development, preparation for adult life and citizenship rather than only preparing students to pass examinations.
To help in reversing the trend, Dr. Afeti urged polytechnics and universities to focus on the production of graduates who are effectively equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve problems, confront the uncertainties and engage in entrepreneurship for job creation.
“Polytechnics and the future technical universities should focus on responding to the socio-economic development needs of society and the needs of learners with regard to skills for life and the world of work.
In all, 2,448 fresh students swore the matriculation oath for their admission into various programmes.
Prof. Smile Gavua Dzisi, Rector of the polytechnic, announced that the polytechnic has set up a Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development (CEID) to promote entrepreneurship by offering training in a variety of trades such as processing of fruits, production of detergents, bead-making and upholstery.
In addition, he said the polytechnic was currently collaborating with the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) to convert all of the school’s science and technology programmes to competency-based training, adding that it would enable students to acquire relevant job-oriented skills for the job market after graduation.
From Alberta Sarpong,Koforidua.