The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare has proposed that the Junior High School (JHS) system is extended to four years.

This he said will enable the Common Core curriculum which is from Basic School (BS) 7 to BS 10 to be implemented to the latter as it was curtailed by the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Wouldn’t it be more expedient to expand Junior High School to four years so that the common core curriculum which is from BS 7 to BS 10 would have been completed in Junior High School?”

The Common Core Program (CCP), according to the Education Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, forms part of the learning experiences necessary to prepare the students for higher education, the world of work or both.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM: Express, Wednesday, Mr Asare agreed the content of the curriculum is ‘fantastic’ as it meets the demands of today’s era.

“It has what it takes to cook the Ghanaian human capital into what is actually required for consumption by all levels of the labour market.”

He, however, noted that there would be a challenge in attaining the expected standards as Teachers are expected to cover the two terms lost to covid within the first eight weeks upon resumption.

“That is eight weeks to teach what should have been taught in virtually two terms, obviously it’s going to be compressed and no standard test will also be undertaken before they migrate.”

President Akufo-Addo had indicated that students who were unable to complete their course would be moved to the next stage all the same to enable a smooth transition.

But, the think tank wants the government to consider the extension “if it is very necessary for us to ensure that standards are not compromised in the name of just pushing through these reforms.”

“You could have given a one year period for the curriculum in primary six, for instance, to have been fully exhausted by which time we would have known how to do the migration to BS 7, but we are rushing to do that.”

Again, he observed that there is also a possibility of teachers forgetting what the curriculum contains since they had no engagement and textbooks as the novel coronavirus restrictions set in.

“After 10 months of the closure of schools, most teachers have actually forgotten because there was no engagement of the curriculum as they were new, textbooks were still not ready.” 

 Mr Asare stressed: “You are also going to do this within a covid system where teachers are not going to teach for more than five hours.”

“So it beat my mind how we are going to do what we should have done in about eight months in eight weeks, it is impossible.”