22.04.2004 General News

Workshop on harmonising syllabi and textbooks for SSS opens

22.04.2004 LISTEN

Koforidua, April 22, GNA - Students currently in Senior Secondary School(SSS) Form One in Ghana will sit for the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination(WASSCE), an international examination to be conducted by the West African Examination Council(WAEC) in 2006. Ghana, as part of its educational reform programme, had since 1994 got the WAEC to conduct the SSSCE for graduates of the programme.

The Director-General of Ghana Education Service(GES), Rev. Ama Afo Blay, who announced this at a six-day workshop on harmonising syllabi and textbooks in use at the SSS level for 35 members of the Consultative Council of Teachers Associations(CCTA) drawn from the Eastern, Greater Accra, Central and Ashanti regions at Koforidua on Thursday. The workshop is to assess the quality and relevance of textbooks and other materials used at the SSS level with reference to the teaching syllabi produced by the GES and the WASSCE.

It would also examine the linkage between the GES teaching syllabi and that of the WASSCE and identify and recommend textbooks that meet the teaching and learning needs of students and teachers in secondary school.

She expressed the hope that by the end of the workshop, the critical issue of harmonising textbooks and curriculum materials would be addressed for effective teaching and learning in secondary schools. Rev. Blay noted that improving the quality and relevance of education depended on a number of strategies of which the provision of suitable textbooks and other learning materials were of paramount interest to all stakeholders in education.

She, however, expressed concern about the proliferation of unsuitable textbooks and teacher-made-pamphlets on the market in recent times making it difficult for parents and students to secure the most suitable books for learning.

To this end, she said the GES owed it a duty to address the challenges in order to streamline and harmonise the textbooks problem since it "can be worrisome to both parents and teachers."

Rev. Blay called on subject associations and other stakeholders to come together and devote greater attention towards writing and recommending textbooks that would adequately fulfil the demands of prescribed syllabuses.

She stressed that the teaching profession was now challenging and urged all teachers to live up to expectation, warning that those who were not prepared to live up to their responsibilities should leave the service.

In a welcoming address, Ms Rosemond Dampoh, Headmistress of the Ghana Secondary School, observed that textbooks played a vital role in the teaching and learning process in the educational system and that the absence or inadequate supply of material content in textbooks could lead to a situation where students were exposed to what was known in popular parlance as "dilute stuff."

According to her, reports of the Chief Examiner of WAEC over the years had highlighted the fact that most students did not have a proper understanding of the subject matter of their disciplines, and therefore described the workshop as "very timely" since it would go a long way to improve upon the textbook situation in the schools.

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