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30.11.2011 General News

Gabby scoffs at govt's attempt to reverse sinking education standards

By Ghana|Nathan Gadugah|
Gabby Asare Okyere DarkoGabby Asare Okyere Darko
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The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute Gabby Asare Okyere Darko is mocking government's attempt to reverse the falling standards in education.

Results released by the West African Examination Council show that over half of the students who sat for this year's Basic Education Certificate Exams failed and could not proceed to the Second Cycle Education.

It is reported to be the worst performance in 13 years.

Deputy Minister Mahama Ayariga in a bid to arrest the trend has been touring parts of the country to find out from District Directors of Education the challenges students and teachers are facing and what measures are needed to resolve them.

He told Joy News the meeting is to find out reasons for the poor performance of the students and to chart a new course for teaching and learning in public schools.

According to him, a lot of community mobilization would be done with facilities injected to improve teaching and learning at the various schools.

But the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Okyere Darko, believes the action of the minister is only a “PR gimmick” meant for the cameras with no clear intent to raise the standards of education in the country.

He argued the 2012 Budget which ought to be the reference point for government's plan of action on education has no new policy geared towards arresting sinking standards in education.

He said for three years President John Mills has been making countless promises to ensure quality education but has not, through budgetary allocation, made any capital investment to rescue the falling standards in education.

Gabby Okyere Darko said with only 12 months to go for another election; the deputy minister cannot continue to embark on familiarization tours of educational institutions without key policy on education.

But Mahama Ayariga has rejected comments by the leading member of the New Patriotic Party.

Contrary to assertions by Okyere Darko that no provision has been made in the 2012 Budget to cater for the falling standards in education, the deputy minister said there have been quantum leaps in budgetary allocation for free school uniforms, free exercise books, and subsidies to Senior High Schools etc.

Some of the allocation, he stressed, represented over 300 per cent increase, adding, over 1,222 schools under trees have been replaced with structures congenial for teaching and learning.

He said the ministry is proposing concrete steps for teachers to spend more time on teaching and for students to spend more time on learning.

An educationist, IK Gyasi wondered how, despite the increases in facilities as the sector minister had so eloquently elaborated, the standards would still be falling at that rate.

He challenged the education ministry to sit up and halt the sinking standards in education.

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