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06.09.2004 General News

Commission Denies President Kufuor's Claims

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Members of the Presidential committee that reviewed the current educational reform programme have denied ever recommending that the number of years spent at the second cycle level should be increased to four years.

They have also denied the President's claim that the committee recommended the change of the Junior and Senior Secondary schools to Junior and Senior High Schools respectively.

Professor Jophus Anamuah- Mensah chaired the 20-member committee and among their recommendations were the improvement of teacher education and a greater focus on the teaching of technical and vocational subjects.

President Kufour at a rally in the Eastern region last week announced his administration's plan to implement what he said were recommendations of the presidential commission on education.

The President said a white paper on the commission's recommendations would be published soon almost a year after the report was presented to government.

But at least three members of the commission including Messrs Gerald Annan- Forson and Kosi Kedem have denied making the recommendations attributed to the commission by the President.

Details of the commission's report show that to the contrary, the team rather recommended that the three-year SSS, polytechnic HND and four-year university degree arrangement should be maintained.

They further added that the 11-year basic education consisting of kindergarten, primary and JSS is adequate in providing the need foundation for further education.

Among the major defects identified in the existing structure were the over-emphasizing of grammar and general education to the detriment of technical and vocational education and training.

The committee also noted that teacher education has been neglected affecting the availability of teachers to cater for the new system.

Mr. Kosi Kedem has described the president's claims as political rhetoric especially coming after the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) survey that put education among the topmost issues of concern to Ghanaian voters.

But a government source, though not sure of the details, has told JoyNews that the president was probably talking about what the government white paper would rather contain.