The Education Ministry is working on a new assessment framework to set a broad policy direction as to how children should be assessed at school, classroom, district and at the national level.
Dr Prince Armah, the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NaCCA) said, “The framework is to be able to provide us with enough data to determine the learning gaps and also to see how we can support children to improve on their learning.”
He explained that “It is also to ensure that as a country, we have adequate data that can actually support us in doing resource allocation to determine which schools should receive more resources that will enable those schools to perform better.”
Speaking on National Pre-Tertiary Learning Assesment Framework (NPLAF) on the topic ‘Redefining assessment to improve learning outcomes,’ he said the forum was a sequel to the new curriculum which was handed over to the Ghana Education Service (GES) in march for implementation in September 2019.
“In the end, it can help in bridging what we call the learning achievement gap where low performing schools in deprived or underserved communities perform poorly and schools in other areas perform better because of how resources are allocated. This makes the gap continue to widen but once we have data we will be able to stem the flow,” he said.
He said the Framework also gives NaCCA an opportunity to ensure that their system of assessment is really valid, reliable and is very fair.
As part of the process, the Council has submitted its initial thoughts which were developed through the participation of relevant stakeholders in the education sector.
The initial thought in the form of a draft document has been submitted to their stakeholders for extensive engagement and extensive conversations and deliberations around it.
Dr Armah said the stakeholder engagement with over 3000 has a national outlook by touching base with all the regions from Northern to Ashanti then Bono, Ahafo and stopping over in Accra on Wednesday. The forum is yet to engage stakeholders in the Central, Western and Eastern regions.
The NaCCA Executive Secretary said regarding implementation, once the Council approves the final document they will submit it to the Cabinet for approval then they will start assessing people at Primary 2, 4 and 6 as well as Junior High School 2 and Senior High School 2.
“The idea is that we do not want to wait for children to get to the lower secondary school, write the exit exam and if they are unable to perform there’s very little to be done about their situation.
“We need to get a series of data along their learning journey and be able to use the data as they progress to determine the learning gap, which areas that they need support and then provide that support,” he said.
Dr Armah believes that “is the best way for us as a country and that will enable us to be competitive with our international counterparts, which Ghana in our last three engagements in international assessments have performed very poorly.”
Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Abubakar Ibrahim