Attempts to implement a new curriculum for basic schools have been described as political point-scoring by Advisory Board Chairman of the Ghana National Association of Private Schools in the Awutu Senya East Municipality.
Dr. Bright Honu speaking on Joy TV’s The Pulse show Wednesday, said that is the only way to explain why the Education Ministry is rushing with its implementation.
“As we speak the syllabus is not ready, textbooks are not ready and the teachers are not even prepared to teach come September 10,” he narrated to Ayisha Ibrahim, host of The Pulse.
The New Curriculum
The new education curriculum was launched by the Ghana Education Service (GES) in April this year as part of ongoing reforms in the sector.
Speaking in glowing terms of the new curriculum for primary schools, the Director-General of the Service, Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said the reform is in line with international best practice, which requires a review every five years.
“A key feature of the new curriculum is the introduction of a national assessment examination at classes two, four and six,” he said
This will replace the status quo where students are assessed nationally during the Basic Education Certificate Examination.
The existing curriculum has been faulted for its great emphasis on preparing learners just to pass examinations rather than to actually acquire knowledge.
“Other challenges in the existing curriculum include content overload and an inability of the assessment system, without sufficient data, to help fashion out improvement in teaching and learning.
“Indeed the current landscape in terms of learning outcomes is not encouraging,” Opoku Amankwa told the press.
Training on the curriculum
Currently, 150 Master Trainer's selected from the GES, NaCCA, National Inspectorate Board, National Teaching Council, Public Colleges of Education, Universities among other stakeholders are being oriented on the curriculum in their respective subjects.
The training has several modules including the rationale for revising the school curriculum and the new changes in the curriculum, Pedagogy - creative approaches for learner-centred teaching approach among others.
According to Executive Secretary of NaCCA, Dr Prince Hamid Armah, Master Trainer's will be taken through Jolly phonics, global competence and Assessment for leaner.
Implementing on a pilot basis
Dr Bright Honu who does not discount the importance of reforming basic education to achieve the needed quality has called for a measured approach to the implementation.
Tracking the history of basic education in Ghana, he said before the JSS system was introduced, it was done meticulously so that it neither affected negatively the students nor the teachers who gave instructions on it.
It was a policy that was long formulated by the President of the First Republic, Dr Kwame Nkrumah but according to him successive governments including the Busia regime did not implement it because they wanted logistics necessary for its implementation to be available first.
By the time President JJ Rawlings and his government implemented it, the logistics and the personnel to administer same were fully in place.
The example, he says must be emulated by this government.
The current approach, he claimed, looked rushed and sudden.
“The GES is approaching this on ad hoc basis. At the end of the day, it is the Ghanaian child who will be affected,” Dr Honu warned.