The Right Alliance-Ghana, a civil society organisation has downplayed suggestions from the Charismatic Bishop’s conference for the country to revert to the seven-year secondary education system.
‘The five year course for the General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level and Two-year Sixth Form course for the Advanced Level is not the solution to the deteriorating educational system of the country,’ the group stated.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr King Khorby, the Alliance Director of Communications said: ‘Much as the traditional system has its merits, it definitely cannot be the solution to the current challenges bedeviling the country’s educational system.
‘The root cause of the challenges goes deeper than the mere educational structure,’ Mr Khorby said.
Touting himself as a proud product of the O’ and A’ Level system who is quite confident of its merits, Mr Khorby still believes that the traditional system also had its challenges as it was rather discriminatory, not capturing as many people as were willing to be educated because of its limited coverage.
‘Not very many of my mates in secondary school made it to the Sixth Form because they could not make the criteria and had to drop off along the way,’ he disclosed.
He noted that much as it is true that with an O’ Level and A’ Level certificates, one gained direct entry into most universities in the United Kingdom and United States, which was not the case with the Senior High School certificate.
He said the challenges inherent in the current system had largely been those of implementation and not the system itself.
‘Ghana has arrived at a point in its development when it requires a large army of middle level human resource with the requisite technical and vocational skills to address the technological and infrastructural challenges of the country.
‘The current educational system is better structured to churn out such skilled labour,’ he said.
Mr Khorby identified political interference in the educational system and the over politicization of issues pertaining to the sector as having contributed largely to the deficiencies in the current system.
The politicians have woefully failed to provide the needed resources and logistics to ensure the effective implementation of the educational reform rolled out in 1987 that gave birth to the Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School (SHS) system, he said.
He noted that poor quality of teachers as well as inefficiency of supervisors and other relevant education officials have vitiated the quality of products leading to the persistent deterioration in educational standards in the country.
‘These loopholes need to be plugged in order to improve standards and churn our products of the required standards and accomplishments.’
He also called for a dispassionate, objective and non-partisan national dialogue on the most effective educational system needed in Ghana, and more importantly, the optimum duration of the JHS and SHS programmes in order to arrive at a long-lasting solution to the challenges.
‘We have played with our educational system for too long in this country and it is about time we firmly decide collectively on what is best for the nation and its future generations,’ he added.
In recent times, there have been calls, led by the Charismatic Bishops Conference, for the country to go back to the O’ and A’ Level system, as it is believed to be of superior quality to the current JHS and SHS system.
Scores of well-meaning individuals and CSOs also joined the seven-year educational crusade.