EDITORIAL: Debate 2013 WACCE Now
8/2/2012 5:00:54 PM -
Sometime in 1987, the then government took the bold step to move Ghana’s educational system from the grammar type to a technical and vocational oriented one. Even at that time, there was no consensus on the direction and form to take because a section of society felt that the technical direction would reduce the graduates to ‘hammer and spanner’ scholars.
The 1987 reforms were based on earlier educational policies that transformed the middle school system into the junior secondary school system and the reduction of the teaching and learning process at the basic and secondary level from 17 to 12 years.
That process later culminated in the introduction of the senior secondary school (SSS) in place of secondary and sixth form education.
But, since then, Ghanaians continue to debate the educational reform process, for we have not only had clashes over the number of years our children should spend in secondary school but also with the name of the system. Regrettably, it has been our children, the future of the nation, who have been at the receiving end of this indecision (or is it politicisation?) of our educational system. Our children have become objects of experiment.
The Common Entrance Examination, which was used for selection of students into secondary schools, was replaced by the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). At the secondary level, the name of the examination has also been changed from Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE) to West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
As a result of the debate, calls have been made by certain people, especially parents, to the government to take another look at the decision to allow the first batch of three-year SHS students to write the WASSCE with their counterparts who are the last batch of the four-year SHS.
The Daily Graphic thinks that an end must be found to the current situation where our children are being used as ‘guinea pigs’. It is the future of the country we are toying with.
Currently, the debate over the number of years to spend in secondary school rages on. It has been recommended that special provisions be made for the first batch of three-year SHS students to write the WASSCE at a later date and not write the same examination with their seniors who have spent four years in SHS.
The argument is that the former group may not have necessarily covered the syllabus that their seniors were made to pursue.
Besides, there is the argument that the first batch of three-year SHS students will feel intimidated by the presence of their seniors.
Again, concerns have been raised over the capacity of the universities to accommodate the two batches of SHS students who will be graduating in 2013.
These arguments are valid because we are aware of inadequate facilities in the tertiary institutions to admit those in waiting and those who are to write the WASSCE next year.
The Daily Graphic believes the nation cannot continue to play the ostrich and pretend that no challenges exist in our educational system now. We will have ourselves to blame if we pretend these are not issues that we should worry our heads over.
That is why we believe that the nation must look into these issues and find appropriate solutions to them because anytime the people have subjected issues to rigorous interrogation, better solutions are prescribed.