REV ISAAC Kankam-Boadu, the Founder and Leader of the Grace Community Church in Kumasi, has suggested the institution of pre-University colleges to engage students who would otherwise be idling around whiles they await results, after which they would be made to write an examination qualifying them for level 200 in the mainstream University.
“Those who are not able to make it to University should be made to write an examination that would qualify them for other alternative institutions such as the Polytechnics.”
The Rev Minister said he was of the conviction that when this is done it would help to create enough room for more students to be admitted to level 100 at the Universities. Sharing ideas with the media in Kumasi, regarding the debate on the duration of the country's Senior High School (SHS) system, Rev. Kankam-Boadu, who noted that there was something wrong with the SSS transition into tertiary institutions, said the system would be cosmetic if it failed to address the gaping loopholes in the system. He described the present situation where a number of graduating senior high school students are made to stay in the house for over a year before gaining admissions into the tertiary institutions as shameful and backward in this modern era.
Rev. Kankam-Boadu, a former bi-lingual tutor in Sierra-Leone, Nigeria and Ghana, expressed misgivings about representation when it comes to collating views on educational policies and urged the government and authorities to respect the views of the entire population instead of concentrating opinions of few people at a forum in Accra.
He said the current system was fraught with inconsistencies such as the delay in the issuance of certificates after the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination and the long stay of graduating students at home before gaining admission into tertiary institutions, especially the universities.
According to him, before 1981, candidates who sat for exams to enter the Universities and tertiary institutions were admitted the same year, which pattern was replicated for the BECE where students buy forms for SHS before sitting for exams, in which case there was zero time wasted and wondered why it could not be adopted for the tertiary level if it worked for the BECE.
He said though he appreciated the reasons for the creation of the situation for students having to wait for one year, which was a function of the introduction of the JSS system in 1987, he was surprised that the previous government did nothing to rectify it. According to him, the problem started during the PNDC era and continued through the NDC and was slept over by the NPP.
The educationist cum clergyman urged the Atta Mills-led NDC government to involve all stakeholders including Ministry of Education, parents, tertiary institutions, West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) in addressing it. “The present NDC government cannot and must not fail to address this shame and backwardness,” he advised.
Rev. Kankam-Boadu said the question of duration of the system should be critically looked at, since the old SHS system was in real terms four years, in that students spent three years doing academic work and did one year doing absolutely nothing before having the chance to be enrolled in the Universities. Rev. Kankam-Boadu said it behoved on the Ghana Education Service (GES) and stakeholders to fashion out a clear cut policy that would help make up for the one year SHS students spent at home doing virtually nothing. He also wanted the WAEC to work
towards publishing results in three months and that admissions into varsities should be published just as was the case in the past.
He said the reform by the NPP government which had just begun indicated that there would not be any examinations in 2010, since the students would then be in SHS three and that there would be no admission for the 2011/12 academic year.