BECE Grading System Criticised

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9/8/2002 -

The Deputy-Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr Henry Ofori-Awuah said at the weekend that the current standing system of grading Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates does not provide the requisite information on the quality of education in basic schools.

He said the system has failed to show improvement in the performance of candidates over the years as BECE results are always predetermined and constant. Mr Ofori-Awuah said this when he opened a five-day workshop on the "Development of Grade Descriptions for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE)" at the Ghana Education Staff Development Institute at Ajumako. Eighty-seven participants, comprising staff of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Curriculum Review Development Division, teachers and some stakeholders are attending it.

Mr Ofori-Awuah noted that a candidate obtains grade one in a subject because he or she scored within the top four per cent of the total number of candidates. He said seven per cent of the candidates would then be given grade two, 12 per cent grade one, and so on, meaning that over the years, the results has shown a constant array of percentages pertaining to each of the nine grades.

Mr Ofori-Awuah pointed out that the objective of the FCUBE programme is to improve quality teaching and learning, and expressed regret that this method of grading does not indicate what a pupil is able to do after having gone through the instructional system. He therefore said this projects a misleading picture of the educational achievement of basic school pupils.

He said it has therefore become necessary to have a new grading system that reflects variations in the performance of pupils from year to year since the current system has been criticised.

‘Behave so the aroma of your actions may enhance the general sweetness of the atmosphere.’
By: Henry David Thoreau

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