The Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) says his outfit and the ministry will not be distracted from implementing the new educational reforms.
While constructive criticisms are welcomed and will be taken on board, Dr Prince Armah insists they will not be sidetracked by comments that are at best a breach faith and at worst, divisive.
He was reacting to a comment by former NAGRAT head Kwame Alorvi, which has since gone viral on social media.
The comment titled “Our education has gone mad” criticized the directive by the Ghana Education Service to schools to print Examination Questions for 3rd Term on credit and receive the money later.
Mr Alorvi among other things accused the educational authorities of being lethargic in solving some of the basic problems affecting the sector.
He did not understand why despite the criticism that greeted the writing of examination questions on chalkboard, the authorities failed to provide money for printing of examination papers and are asking for the printing to be done on credit.
Mr Alorvi in his criticism also pointed to the ethnical backgrounds of leaders in the educational system suggesting that they were from a particular ethnic group.
In a reaction the NaCCA described the ethnic comments by Alorvi as unacceptable.
“And here, we must out of necessity dip our toes in the very troubling waters at the end of Mr Alorvi’s piece. His proposed “solution” to the “issues” in the education system is an ethnic restructuring of the education ministry’s leadership.
“It is unclear how Mr Alorvi comes by this baffling proposal. For a man of his exposure and stature to reduce complex matters of public policy to ethnicity and tribalism is too questionable and scarcely believable.
He said Mr Alorvi’s prescription for ethnic surgery in the educational sector is most unfortunate.
“In this country, we have made great effort to forge a common identity as Ghanaians first while also respecting a rich cultural diversity. Among other things, we strive to define a man by his own actions and not the village his mother came from.
“We do not invent problems and ask that those we deem guilty be removed on account of their tribe so that others from a different tribe can take over. Would Mr Alorvi accept a removal from his office solely on account of his tribe?”
Dr Armah also dismissed assertion by Mr Alorvi that the directive by the GES for schools to print the exam papers on credit was out of place.
“…In discussions between the Ghana Education Service and various stakeholders including Conference of Heads of Basic Schools (COHBS) and Conference of Directors of Education (CODE), a decision was taken to apply a part of the capitation grant issued to every child in the basic public school in the country towards this purpose.
“As Mr Alorvi would without doubt know, efforts are underway to ensure the release of this money to all schools. Bizarrely, the former union leader goes on to make a meal of a fairly routine directive to heads to print the questions before the money is paid.
“As anyone who has worked in the public sector or provided any goods or services to the government would know, the government cannot pay for services that have not been already rendered.”
“Mr Alorvi as well as other “concerned” observers but most importantly, parents across this country should be rest assured that the fees will not be returning. The government is firm and unshaken in its resolve to make education accessible to all,” Dr Armah said.