Blame all for tragic mass JHS failure

Retired educationist IK Gyasi has described as worrying the mass failure by pupils in this year’s Junior High School exams.

Results released by the West Africa Examination Council for pupils in the 2010-11 Academic year show a rather appalling performance in many parts of the country.

In the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolis in the Western Region, none of the pupils in the five public schools could make the aggregate for continuation in the Senior High School.

The requisite aggregate needed for admission in SHS is 06-30.

The District Education Director in Takoradi Kofi Mbiah who confirmed the mass failure attributed it to a myriad of factors.

“Naturally who wouldn’t be worried? As a District Director of Education in the district where performance is so low if I don’t get worried then why am I here? Nobody got anything between aggregate 6 and 30, so they couldn’t qualify for admission into any of the SHS,” he said.

He said cases of truancy, pregnancy and economic activities the pupils engage in during school hours contributed to the failures.

He said the Assembly has taken remedial measures including strict implementation of the bye laws to control truancy and to resolve the problem.

In Akatsi in the Volta Region, almost 60 per cent of the pupils are reported to have failed the exams.

IK Gyasi in an interview with Joy News said the fact that the failure is widespread must be a source of worry for all Ghanaians.

He said for effective learning to take place, the pupils, teachers and the teaching environment must be conducive enough for effective learning to take place.

“Are the pupils themselves willing and ready to learn? What is the situation at home?… Are they well resourced? Did they even eat in the morning before they went to school? When they get to school is the environment conducive” Mr Gyasi pointed out.

“…When there are about 60 students in one class and you only have 10 reading books there is no way you can achieve effective learning and teaching results,” he noted.

He said everybody must take responsibility for what is described as a tragedy.

He said parents by virtue of the maxim of free education have resigned from incurring any costs at all in educating their children.

He said it sometimes becomes precarious that pupils have to share uniforms in their bid to acquire education.

“In one school two brothers were using one exercise book, one writing from the front, the other writing from the back. Sometimes when you have this shift system I hear that the boy who goes to school in the morning gives his uniform to his brother who goes to school in the afternoon.

“So don’t blame just the educational authority although they share in the blame. Blame parents, blame teachers, blame the head of school who has to supervise and blame the whole environment. All of us must share in the blame and therefore all of us must ensure this tragedy doesn’t continue to happen year after year.”