Gov't Considering Scrapping BECE

A deputy Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is considering the cancellation of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) which promotes Junior High School (JHS) students to Senior High Schools in the country.

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah disclosed this on Abusua FM’s 'Abusua NKomo' show hosted by Kwame Adinkra during his tour in the Ashanti Region.

According to the Deputy Minister and Member of Parliament of Ofoase Ayirebi Constituency, government's intention is to make the basic education system automatic for JHS students.

He said government is considering plans to in the future cancel Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) that enable pupils in the basic schools gain admission into Senior High Schools (SHS).

He indicated that government’s motive behind the decision is to get every Ghanaian school going child enrolled in Senior High School education.

The decision when implemented will see no Ghanaian child denied access to the free SHS education promised by the NPP government and which takes effect in September.

He added that the plan will see all JHS students being assessed by their performance in class which will see the brilliant ones promoted to SHS and those with poor performance being repeated till they put up good performance.


Extending Closing For Schools Will Cost Government More – GNAT

It will cost government more money if the closing time for basic public school in the country is extended, the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has said.

The Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has complained about the closing time within Ghana schools and has called for an extension of the normal 2pm closing time to 4pm.

“School closes too early in this country. At 2:00pm, parents from farms are not back and parents working at the public service are not back from work, so why can’t schools close at 4:00 pm,” he posited at the National Education Sector Review forum held in Accra recently.

The Minister also said the time was not favourable for working parents and guardians and also complained about the standard of education in the country.

But speaking on Eyewitness News on Thursday, the General Secretary of GNAT, David Ofori Acheampong said they have not received any official proposal from the Ministry to that effect.

He also suggested that government should engage the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission on the issue to ensure that allowances of teachers are increased to reflect the new closing period if approved.

“…If today government thinks they would need to extend the programme, it is a simple, let them table it before the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission because it comes with financial burden on government. They have the responsibility to commit government to pay for extra duty with allowances and we will sit down and talk. When we discuss and they agree to pay us so much for additional two hours of our service we have no problem. So all these noise about us doing this or that, government has not tabled it before us,” he added.

Mr. Acheampong noted that currently, “the agreement we work with is that basic schools must do nine periods, JHS must do ten periods, SHS must do eight periods, differentials thirty or forty minutes with five minutes intervals as interchange into the next period.”

“We do not prescribe the curriculum for education in Ghana. It is prescribed by the research department of the Ghana Education Service and they allot the time for the various categories of teachers to teach…And we are supposed to do our work within that period and it is enshrined in our collective agreement with government,” he added.


GES Bans Female Teachers From Wearing Miniskirts And Trousers

Female teachers in basic and second cycle institutions in the country have been banned from wearing skimpy dresses as well as trousers henceforth, a directive from the Ghana Education Service(GES) revealed.

According to a letter signed by the Hohoe Municipal Director of Education Wordui Joseph K, teachers must distinguish themselves from the manner in which they dress at home [casually] and for officials duties warning that those who defy the directive in accordance with GES dress code will face sanctions.

“No lady is allowed to put on a pair of trousers to work except during sporting activities. They can however put on suit. Miniskirts and sleeveless dresses must be avoided. Too much make-ups and multi coloured hairdos must also be avoided. Cosmetic treatment (Pedicure) etc should be minimized”, the directive explained

For their male counterparts the GES directed that they should avoiding putting g on jeans trousers and round-neck T-shirts.

“The acceptable T-shirts is a lacoste with breast pocket. Hanging of earphones on the ear as well as lose dressing (Oto Phister) during contact hours is unacceptable”, it warned.

The GES reiterated its resolve to sanction any teacher or officer who may in one way or the other violate the dress code as prescribed.


District Education Director Vows To Deal With Absenteeism

Mr Anthony Maxwell Amoako, the new District Director of Education for Amansie West, has warned that he would sanction basic school heads who condoned lateness and absenteeism by their staff.

The move would help bring sanity into education in the District, which he said was seeing a decline, because of illegal mining activities (galamsey), which was a major cause of truancy and increase in school drop-outs.

Mr Amoako was outlining his vision to basic heads, teaching /non teaching staff and education stakeholders at a maiden meeting after he took over from Mr. Samuel Kena, who retired last month

The new director was the former senior housemaster for Konongo-Odumase Senior High School in the Asante-Akim Central Municipality.

He said teachers would be able to whip up the dwindling interest of children in education and attract them to school if they (teachers) showed seriousness in their work by being punctual and regular at school.

“You as teachers should be examples and role models in the communities in all spheres of life to earn the respect you deserve,” he added

Mr Amoako said his administration would not countenance indiscipline, absenteeism and other negative acts that could adversely affect teaching and learning in the district, and asked those who had the habit to change for the better.

He promised to liaise with the District Assembly to provide furniture and other logistics to aid them in their work.

Source: GNA

Increase The Use Of Practical Teaching Methods - Education Experts

Experts in education have called for an increase in the use of teaching and learning methods that are practical and centred on the learner in schools in Ghana.

According to them, the performance of students or pupils could improve significantly if teachers engaged them in learning activities that promoted interests and understanding in the subjects being taught.

Such learning activities, known as Active Learning methods, include role play, group work, creative writing, storytelling, simulation, experimentation and demonstration.

They made the call at a ceremony in Tamale organised to showcase the successes of the Basic Education Quality Improvement Programme (BEQUIP), a project under which a number of teachers, college tutors and other education officers were trained to improve their use of Active Learning methods.

Two international development organisations, IBIS and EDUKANS, and the University of Amsterdam collaborated with the Ghana Education Service (GES) and selected teacher training colleges to implement the project in parts of the Northern, Upper East and the Volta regions.

Mr Tirso Dos Santos, UNESCO's Head of Office and Representative to Ghana, Mr Ahmed Hamza Tijani, IBIS' Ghana Country Director, Mr Gershon Dorfe, Acting Deputy Director of the Teacher Education Division of the GES and Upper East Regional Director of Education were among the key speakers.

Mr Tijani said the BEQUIP project focused on increasing the use of Active Learning methods in schools in order to enhance students’ learning outcomes saying, "This is simply because research has proven that children learn better when they are engaged in practice, rather than just theory".

Mr Tijani underscored the need to replicate or upscale such interventions in Ghana, adding that "we are open to partner with other organisations on these interventions and we are positive that such partnerships would begin from here."

Mr Gerson Dorfe, announced that the Ghana Education Service (GES) would soon register and license teachers in the country, under a new policy known as Pre-tertiary Teacher Professional Development and Management (PTPDM) programme.

He said the new policy had a new career progression path starting from a Beginning Teacher to Licence Teacher down to Senior Director, which would eventually replace the existing ranking system in the Education Service.

He said the new policy is being piloted in three districts, namely, Shai Osudoku in the Grater Accra Region, Upper Manya in the Eastern Region and Ajumako Essiam Enyan District in the Central Region.

The principals of the Bagabaga College of Education in Tamale, St. John Bosco’s College of Education in Navrongo and Dambai College of Education in the Volta Region who were present, had said teacher trainees were trained on Active Learning methods, yet they failed to practice these methods after graduation.

They therefore called for greater emphasis on ensuring that teachers used learner-centred methods in the classrooms to improve education.

Source: GNA