THE HARD TRUTH: Education in Ghana is deteriorating – Opinion

Education in Ghana is deteriorating day – in – day out. Successive governments have done little to revamp the educational system in Ghana. Politics have taken over our educational system. The rising indiscipline of students in various pre-tertiary schools in the country is alarming.

Major stakeholders in education i.e Government, Parents, Teachers, WAEC and Students all have their share as long as indiscipline in our schools are concern especially in JHS and SHS.

Government

Successive governments have made policies that are unsuitable in the Ghanaian schools which has gone a long way to cripple our educational system. Policies including banned on canning in schools, Banned on demotions, pregnant/nursing school children should be allowed in the schools, no sacking of gross indiscipline students and many others are some of the reasons why there is rising indiscipline in our school.

Our country copy blindly from the outside world forgetting the fact that we have different environment as long as bringing up our children is concern. Classrooms are choked and that cannot be witness in America and other developed countries, yet we want our children to behave like American children.

Teaching and learning environment are very conducive in the western countries unlike Ghana where teachers/students have to sweat profusely during lesson delivery in the middle of the day.

Teaching and learning materials are inadequate in the Ghanaian schools, yet they expect teachers to do magic for students success. Practical lessons that were carried out in the past with the necessary equipment in place as reported by our basic school teachers are far gone. Bookish knowledge is all that we desire as a country, valuing certificates than competencies.

Parents

Parents of Ghanaian school children have lost interest in their ward’s education even at a point when the government is very supportive by introducing FSHS (though not satisfactorily implemented). Many parents have done very little in supporting their wards’ education most especially at the Senior High Schools.

In a class of 50 – 80 students, your barely find 30 students having basic school materials/equipment such as calculators (How does a student pass WASSCE maths paper without proper knowledge of usage of calculator?), mathematical sets, pens, exercise books etc. just to mention but a few.

Again, many parents have boldly supported their children in the area of examination malpractices by paying huge sums of money. How many parents monitor their children in the house more especially at night? How many even know how their children sleep before going to bed.

GES /Teachers

Few among the lot of teachers have sold their credibility to examination malpractices. They resort to charging students money to aid them pass their exams most especially at the basic schools. This has culminated to students seeing copying as a right and boldly say it when the need arise. This behavior of such teachers has decrease the respect students and parents have for teachers.

I just wish such teachers could stop such immoral behavior. This behaviour of teachers can be attributed to the poor method adopted by GES is assessing schools, Heads and teachers performance. They judge teachers according to students’ performance, what a misguided judgment? They however shower praises on students when they pass and turn around to blame teachers when the opposite happens.

They praise teachers who prepare lessons notes but do not deliver it in the classroom than teachers who deliver their lessons frequently but for one reason or the other could not prepare lesson plans. This I will term as poor supervision. What they opt to look at is students notes and exercises as well as class attendants by teachers and that will actually tell the sort of commitment a teacher have to his/her duty.

Absenteeism by students is ‘welcome’ by GES but that of a teacher is hell. A student will be absent for a term or year, yet will either be promoted or allowed to write his final exams. What signal does it send to students behind him/her? To borrow a proverb, until the rotten tooth is pull out, the mouth must chew with caution.

WAEC

The WAEC have always defend her staff in cases of examination leakages, putting the blames on invigilators and sometimes supervisors, this is totally unfair. Most leaked papers will be in circulation hours and sometimes days to the start of the papers. How many invigilators haves access to the examination papers before the start of that paper?

For instance, 2019 WASSCE mathematics papers was in circulation a week to the paper, yet WAEC said there was no leakage tagging invigilators as the causative agents. This year, same has happened. Thank God benevolent organizations/bodies are now speaking on it.

Students

Many students in Ghana have lost interest in learning for they see no reason why they should learn hard to pass when there are other short cuts. Students’ appearance in schools and attitudes towards class attendance is worrisome. They ascribe much to their phones than their books in schools. Their desire to get quick monies these days is what drives them.

The Society

The society have done very little in curbing children negatives attitude in the society. Our Chiefs, Opinion leaders, elders and the law enforcers are all partly to blame for students’ misbehaviours this days.

It is very common to find underage children still loitering about in the night 10 thereabout. Yet we all sit unconcern, the future effects will be on us all. They form ‘bases’ and spend majority of their time in those bases, mostly in at night and at the backyard of a house where there is probably an elder and an opinion leader.

Cybercrime and other dubious method of making money dubbed “SAKAWA” and “GAJAGAJA” is galloping in our societies. We are fast losing our children to the mercy of this immoral activity.

Conclusion

Policy makers must make it a point to incorporate teachers in the classroom in policy making for they are the direct implementers, they have a perfect experience about the classroom environment and will be better placed in given useful suggestion to policy makers. Engaging our union leaders is not enough for most of them haven’t experience or have experience less for the past decay, the classroom environment.

In as much as FSHS has come to stay, parents must make it a point to provide their wards with the basic materials needed to enhance students learning in schools. It is not everything that is actually free.

WAEC is fast losing credibility as long as the conduct of their exams are concern. They must re-examined their workers most especially those directly involve right from setting the questions to delivery. They must always be ready to admit, when they err. That itself is a sign of credibility.

GES as a matter of emergency must adopt appropriate methods of assessing teachers, heads and schools rather than basing their assessment on students’ performance at the West African Examination Councils examinations.

Why will you take a one day exams so much higher than the teacher’s hustle for barely 3 years in determining the teacher’s performance. That is quiet unfair, right? This when done, will reduce the pressure on teachers/headteachers in finding every inappropriate means of making students pass which eventually lead to examination malpractices.

The African way of bringing up a child should be revisited. We copy much from the western world forgetting the fact that we grew up in different environment. Their educational structure is totally different from ours.

I haven’t been there, but I’m sure their class size wouldn’t be so large as ours where you have about 45, 60, 80, 90 students in a class that a teacher have to handle couple with unfavourable classroom environment.

Again, to judge one school as performing more than the other, consider the quality of inputs into the schools. Most performing SHSs always have half-baked students as compared to under-performing schools. Give them the fair ground, and reality will reveal.

Society must learn to respect teachers. You cannot expect your child to be better off when you tend to castigate the very person you entrusted your child into for better upbringing. Teachers go through a lot of risk, key among them is psychological risk.

We grow older than our age. The little stay of students with their parents under this covid 19 era have spoken for teachers as to the trauma they go through in schools. Parents can attest to this. The country must rise for the betterment of teacher if we so desire to have an enabling environment.

The society must not sit aloof and allow our youth to misbehave in the society. All must come on board for us to have a morally sound society. Immoral activities have dominated our societies this day which have found its ugly face into our educational institutions.

For our students, if the above suggestions and many others are taken, they will be reform by default.

A concern citizen and not a spectator, to borrow from our President.

YAKUBU OSMAN – YENDI
(0240506128)

Disclaimer: The views/opinions expressed in the above article are solely those of the author and does not reflect those of TamaleOnline News.

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