This morning I listened to Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, the Former Minister of Education and NDC Veep Candidate for 2020, as she was interviewed on Free SHS and the falling standards of education on Woezor TV.
My favourite thing about the interview was her voice. Smooth and silky. I could have listened to her all day.
Since Free SHS was the headline theme of this interview, I am happy to report that Prof no longer spoke about the NDC being architects of the policy. Amen! She also believes that we can make Free SHS better for the children of Ghana. Amen!
However, there is an issue Prof Naana spoke on that left a bitter taste in my mouth and that is Prof’s questioning of the excellent results of Ghanaian students in the WASSCE examinations.
She had this to say:
“We have also heard and seen students who wrote an exam, came out and you know it was like we’ve had an earthquake in this country. It wasn’t like one school or two schools (host interrupts: “you are referring to students who were protesting that” to know what she was referring to )
Prof continues: “This same group whose performance is supposed to be so outstanding that we shouldn’t be talking, it is the group I am referring to, ok? And they went and wrote the exam. We heard of the leakage of exams. We heard of invigilators being compromised. We have heard of many many things and we also saw the students come out and speak about no, this is not what we were told would happen. Now these students have A’s and we are happy? It’s up to us”
This part of the interview shocked me. All this while, I had been thinking this bashing of the WASSCE results was propaganda created for the NDC for its serial callers.
I didn’t realise it was sanctioned from so high above. To hear it being repeated, without evidence, by someone I hold in so much awe was painful.
In the same breath that Prof speaks about students’ vandalism and chaos, - “the earthquake” - she speaks about the leaking of questions. If the questions were truly leaked? Why did any students go on a rampage to cause an “earthquake”?
Prof reminds us that this ‘earthquake was widespread. How did the the leakage of exam questions lead to such widespread vandalism.
If what the students were told didn’t happen, that turns the thesis that questions were leaked on its head. After all the leakage of questions -apor dropping - and ‘apor’ swerving do NOT happen at the same time. It is either one or the other.
Ndewura Jakpa, Tweneboah Koduah etc etc had exam questions leaked to them and their inviligators compromised? And in spite of this they vandalised their schools?
At Bright SHS in Koforidua, invigilators were beaten up? If these invigilators were compromised how come they got a beating as their reward?
Also, does Aunty Naana remember the invectives poured on President Akufo-Addo by SHS students blaming him for how difficult their examinations were.
Does she recall her one time deputy Okudzeto Ablakwa describing the students behaviour in this regard as reprehensible?
Was such reprehensible behaviour what one would expect from students to whom questions had been leaked and for whose sake invigilators had been compromised?
Did Prof ever see former Nagrat President and one time NDC parliamentary Candidate Kwame Alorvi’s article on the WASSCE 2020 exam chaos, wondering whether this behaviour was ‘ a feeling of a sense of entitlement?
In this article he states:
“In fact, the levels these agitations have assumed amongst students are not only alarming and unprecedented, but also alien to the tradition and history of these examinations in Ghana.”
Was this unprecedented level of agitation a result of leaked questions and compromised invigilators?
The evidence in the public domain and from even members of her own party doesn’t support her thesis that the questions were leaked or that invigilators were compromised.
Moreover, when the matter of leaked questions arose, WAEC released a statement saying the questions being put out on social media were fake.
As the former boss of WAEC Ghana, does she not trust their word anymore?
The GES also made a statement regarding the alleged leakage of examination questions.
Does she no longer trust the word of the GES, with whom she worked in tandem during her tenure?
As Minister of Education, she was boss of all teachers. Only teachers serve as WAEC invigilators. Does Prof want to tell us that all the invigilators of the WASSCE 2020 exam, from Gambaga to Accra were compromised?
Irrespective of political divide, we must all come to accept the fact that the first cohort of SHS students excelled at this exam. and applaud them.
Running their achievements down with propaganda and conspiracy theories is very sad, but more importantly, it undermines confidence in grownups and reduces their standing in the estimation of the youth.
We must also accept that Free SHS is here to stay and together, we should build it up with our words as well as our deeds.
As it stands, the people of Ghana own the policy now. And what the people of Ghana have ‘brought together’ ... no radio station or political party CAN put asunder. Amen!!
Source: Abyna-Madame Adjei
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