The politicisation of the structure of Ghana’s educational system has handicapped secondary education, the Central University President, Professor Kwesi Yankah has observed
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- year 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.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration started the four-year Senior High School programme in 2007 based on research. 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 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] decided to truncate it and restore the three year project.
“So that is where the politics then comes in 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.
”The NDC is unwilling to admit the 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 has turned out to be superior, that was political and that hurts. That is the problem with this country.”
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 per cent, 59,725 (25.40 per cent) obtained D7-E8 whilst 46,595 (19.82 per cent) had F9. For Mathematics, 77,108 (32.83 per cent) obtained A1-C6; 65,007 (27.68 per cent) obtained D7-E8 whilst 89,477 (38.10 per cent) had F9. About 113,933 students obtained A1-C6 in Integrated Science which is 48.48 per cent, 75,938 (32.32 per cent) obtained D7-E8 whiles 42,519 (18.09 per cent) had F9.