The Ministry of Education has come out to clear the air saying that the Minister of Education, Hon. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh has been misrepresented by the media following a news item that went viral over the weekend which claimed that the Minister has announced the award of Diploma certificates to Junior High School graduates.
According to the ministry, which made this known in a press release issued in Accra and signed by its Communications Director, Ekow Vincent, the Minister did not state anywhere that Junior High School graduates would be awarded Diploma certificates.
"Indeed, given the government's commitment to redefining basic education to include senior high school, in respect of which the Pre-Tertiary Education Bill is in parliament, it is inconceivable that the Minister would suggest that junior high school graduates would be awarded a diploma or any other certificate to enable them to seek for work," the ministry emphasized.
The Minister is also reported to have said that University education degree programmes will be reduced from four (4) to three (3) years.
The Education Ministry explained that the Minister's comments have been misrepresented and taken out of context.
The minister is quoted to have made these comments in a speech delivered at an event organized by the Danquah Institute on the topic "World-class Education: An Imperative for the Next Generation of Leaders".
The ministry threw more light on the issue and further presented these facts:
"On the pre-tertiary curriculum reforms currently being pursued by the government, the Miniter referred to the need for a strong and robust pre-tertiary education structure and noted that with such a system, a discussion on whether the current four-year undergraduate degree could be reduced to three years.
...Indeed, the Minister referred to the fact that prior to the 1987 reforms that saw the shift from 'A' level to the senior high school system, an undergraduate degree was three years, similar to and that in the case of University of Ghana in particular, the first year was non scoring, referred to as First University Examination (FUE).
The Minister in his speech sought to trigger a national dialogue to potentially reconsider reverting to this undergraduate model, on the basis of a much improved and more robust Senior High School Curriculum so that students can be adequately prepared for a three-year undergraduate programme.
On the second issue, the Minister sought to ignite a conversation on whether all senior high school students should write a university entrance exam such as the West Africa Senior Secondary School Examination given the diversity of learners in our senior high school system.
The Mister mooted the idea of a national diploma for all SHS leavers, which will enable them to go into work, with those desiring to enter university then going on to write the WASSCE in order to do so. It will be noted that in USA, all high school leavers gain a national diploma to enable them go into work, with the SAT examination being a further requisite for those seeking to enter university."