The Ministry of Education says it discarded the use of continuous assessment to progress final year Senior and Junior High School (JHS/SHS) students to the next level because the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) was prepared to conduct an examination tailored for Ghana.
It said the use of the continuous assessment would have also resulted in students sitting multiple entrance examinations for different institutions in the secondary and tertiary level.
This was contained in a statement signed and issued in Accra yesterday by Director of Communications of the Ministry, Vincent Ekow Assafuah in response to concerns by Member of Parliament of North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, on the easing of restrictions in the educational sector.
The statement noted that although online studies and examinations would have been ideal, many students have had practical difficulties in assessing online studies while some have protested at the online exam route being pursued by some universities.
It said enabling students to be on campus for revision and examinations provides a level playing field for all of students.
The statement noted that the ban on visit of parents to boarding houses was to reduce the risk of infection from outsiders saying that “it is in the students’ interest that parents were not allowed to visit.”
Currently, schools were mapped to various health facilities in their communities and the necessary protocols would be activated when any of the students falls ill, it added.
On why the government did not pursue mass testing of students and teachers, the statement said health experts advised for effective and strict adherence to hygiene and social distancing protocols.
It said day students coming to boarding house would be required to have only basic items they use at home because the government would take up the daily feeding costs.
The statement noted that Form 2 Gold Track students have been asked to go back to school to catch up because the group had lost considerable amount of academic work for the 2019/2020 year as the schools were closed two weeks after their term commenced.
It noted that the 2019/2020 academic year was nowhere close to its end arguing that “for basic schools, the school closure came two weeks to the end of the second term, with third term to resume on May 4, 2020. For SHS and tertiary, the break came halfway into the second semester.”
Day students, the statement said, were to proceed with the status quo of attending their schools as day students and that the government would not compel day students to be housed in schools.
The Ministry assured students and parents and the general public that in its decision to ease restrictions, government was guided by the importance of the need to ensure that public health was maintained whilst seeking to return to some normalcy.
It said the Ministry was committed to the welfare of students and staff and would continue to ensure that the necessary standards and protocols provided by the health experts are adhered to in all schools.
BY TIMES REPORTER