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64% of Schools Illiteracy Is A Testament Of Poor Performance Of Ministry of Education   
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Challenging Heights is concerned that about 64% of pupils in Ghana’s basic schools cannot read nor write – according to a report released by the Ghana Education Service.

We recall that the number of pupils who could not read and write was 54% in the year 2008 report released by the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare. These figures were undoubtedly better some ten years ago. It is therefore clear that Ghana’s basic education system is suffering from decline in quality.

It is obvious to us that the Ministry of Education is not sincere in finding a solution in improving the quality of education at the basic levels of our school system.

In the face of such dwindling performance, the ministry has not been able to prevent the perennial strike actions by teachers in the basic schools. We have allowed ourselves as a country to be ambushed by teachers’ concerns, and it appears that there are no solutions in sight for teachers’ motivation.

It does not appear that the Ministry has a good understanding of why there is a decline in the quality of education at the basic levels.

We wish to refer the honorable Minister of Education to the Volta Regional Minister, Mr. Joseph Amenowode who aptly captured the challenge on our hands when he admitted that, "Private basic schools are becoming attractive to parents and pupils in the Volta Region and as a result many public schools are not meeting enrolment figures needed to attract investment in infrastructure". He said "poor performance by public schools in the Basic Education Certificate Examination, accounted for parents’ preference for private schools where results were far better even though their teachers were untrained and some being retired trained teachers".

To us, the Ministry of Education must interrogate this statement made by Mr. Amenowode because this encapsulates the problem faced by our basic education system, and the gloomy direction we are heading toward if workable measures are not put in place.

We are even more disappointed that the Ministry is about to implement a National Assimilated Literacy Programme in which pupils will be introduced to their local Ghanaian languages before introducing them to the English language. We honestly believe that this is not the solution to the problem we face. We have no doubt that none of those who are pushing for such policies will have their children suffer or benefit from it, as all such officials would send their children to the private schools.

It appears to us that the solutions to the problem the children are confronted with are obvious, yet the solution has eluded the ministry.

James Annan of Challenging Heights
We do not need another research to confirm that the problem we are facing with quality education is as a result of lack of quality teacher supervision. The ministry should therefore be bold to implement policies that will ensure that our basic school teachers are performing, for them to merit their incessant call for salary increases.

We will like to reiterate our proposed solution to the decline in the quality of basic education in this country:

1. District Assemblies and communities should be given the authority to recruit or dismiss their own teachers. This will ensure that the districts recruits only self-motivated teachers, including untrained community teachers who have the interests of the local children at heart.

2. Circuit supervision should be a separate unit from the District Education Directorate. This will enable them to maintain independent work plans, assessments and workable recommendations to be implemented.

3. All staff of Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service, Circuit Supervisors, Public School teachers, and the District Assemblies, should as a matter of policy or law, have their school-going children enrolled in the same public schools of their respective districts.

James Kofi Annan
Executive Director
Source: Peacefmonline.com

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