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10.07.2008 Education

Education Ministry addresses poor B.E.C.E results

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The Chief Examiner's report suggests that candidates' inability to read and comprehend examination questions correctly are reasons for getting low grades in last year's Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE), Prof. Dominic Fobih, Minister of Education, Science and Sports said on Thursday in Parliament.

He said cultivating reading habits, emphasis on the study of core subjects and the upgrading of programmes for both untrained and certified teachers were among a number of measures introduced to address the situation.
The Minister was responding to a question from the Minority Chief Whip, Mr John Tia, on why 50 per cent of the 320,255 JSS students who sat for the 2007 final BECE failed.

"The 50 per cent referred to by the Honourable MP, which actually is 47.8 per cent, represents the percentage of candidates that failed to attain between aggregate six and 30 which is considered a cut-off point for placement into the senior high schools and technical institutes."

"However, they may have obtained grades one to eight in some subjects and therefore earned certificates in those subjects passed," Prof Fobih explained to the House.

The Minister said the grading system in the BECE was for both placement into second cycle institution and also for certification.

"It is to be noted that when a school is said to have obtained zero per cent in the BECE, what it means is that none of the candidates in that particular school obtained between aggregate six and 30. It does not mean that no candidate passed in at least one of the eight subjects offered at the junior high schools," the Minister said.

He said it was however, important to "acknowledge here that the percentage of candidates that did not have between aggregate six and 30 and who did not qualify for consideration into the senior high school and technical institutes as pointed out by the Honourable MP is worrying."

Prof. Fobih said other measures such as providing incentives for teachers in the rural areas, and improved supervision and monitoring by the districts directorates of education were being established to help solve the problem.

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