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26.02.2007 General News

NDC calls for education forum

By DAILYEXPRESS-Xoese DOGBE

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is calling for a national forum to discuss government's intended new educational system before it is implemented.

The new system to be implemented later this year, will among others increase the senior secondary school period from three (3) to four (4) years, and a change of names to Junior High School and Senior School.

It follows recommendations by a commission set up by government to review the present system. But the NDC says the work of the commission and government's intended decisions should first be discussed at a forum before implementation.
At a press conference in Accra, the party's MP's in parliament said the proposed forum should be along the lines of the National Education Forum held by the NDC administration and which conceived the idea of the GETFUND in addition to allowing all stakeholders in the educational system to brainstorm on the way forward in respect of Ghana's education.

Already some teachers group have argued about being left in the dark about the proposed changes, and their views not sort. Others have also cautioned against increasing the SSS period by another year, arguing strongly that the problem is at the lower levels of education.

Founder & President of Ashesi University Patrick Awuah Jnr, and recently Economist Dr. Nii Moi Thompson have advised against the move. In their respective presentations, the two personalities argued that the primary and JSS which are the foundation stages and should rather be strengthened.

Mr. Awuah Jnr, in his presentation to the Annual New Year School, also made a case for the 'proper' training of teachers who are central to the attainment of high educational standards.

The current 6-3-3 educational system was introduced during the PNDC era to “move our educational system from the Grammar school model inherited from our colonial masters to a new model that was more responsive to the needs of our country.”

The new system has had its fair run of criticisms and according to the NDC Minority “after many years of practicing this new model, there is a need for a review to streamline the system and address challenges that confront it.”
Minority Leader Alban Bagbin who read the group's press statement said quality education in Ghana is increasingly available to only the rich, effectively widening the quality and cost gap between the urban private schools and rural public schools.

The morale of teachers has also reached an all-time low, claims the NDC, referring to the NAGRAT strike and accused government of adopting high handed measures to break the front of the Association.
The party advised government to make provision for the payment of the capitation grant at beginning of the academic year to enable school authorities manage and plan better.

They also called for a review of the Computerized Selection Placement System (CSSPS) in order to achieve the purpose for which it was introduced.

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