About 750,000 primary two pupils across the country are writing the 2022 edition of the National Standardised Test (NST).
A total of 18,000 public and private schools are participating in the test being administered by 9,000 Test Administrators selected by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) of Ghana in collaboration with the Education Ministry.
The Deputy Minister of Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, speaking to journalists after monitoring some selected test centres in the Greater Accra Region on Monday said the essence of the test was to ascertain the strength and weaknesses of the pupil in literacy and numeracy which were the foundational skills required for effective teaching and learning.
Some of the schools visited were the Pennywise International School and La-Presbyterian Basic schools in Accra.
Rev. Ntim Fordjour stated that the test was part of the effort to ensure that fundamental weaknesses in education were addressed, explaining that after the exercise, feedback would be analysed on what to do, the intervention to deploy to which school, district, region so that the right resources would be made available for it.
He was mentioned that the exercise was not meant to test and know which school was the best, best student or to ascertain the best teacher, but to look for the right data on the true state of affairs for the right interventions to be put in place.
The deputy minister was full of praise for Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum for introducing the initiative to ascertain the proficiency level of pupils in numeracy and literacy, so as to plan what kind of assistance they could be offered as they move on in their education at the primary level.
Rev. Ntim Fordjour who is also the Member of Parliament for Assin South in the Central Region indicated that the government through the Education Ministry and other agencies had rolled out several interventions in the education sector and the test would help find out if the interventions had made any positive impact or not.
The deputy minister eulogised the leadership of NaCCA and other agencies, head teachers of participating schools, test administrators and others who were doing everything possible to ensure the smooth implementation of the policy.
He recounted how in the past a child was only tested after writing the Basic Examination Certificate Examination (BECE) which was the only major test, but stated that after the test a quick intervention package based on the weaknesses and strengths would be put in place to correct the challenges identified by the test.
Rev. Ntim Fordjour posited that the outcome of the test would help students to be assisted well before preparing to write BECE, since weaknesses would be addressed with the right mitigation measures to ensure that the children got the right knowledge and skills needed before completing their Junior High School education.
BY TIMES REPORTER