The Authorities of second cycle schools have been asked not to pride themselves in their schools’ overall high percentage WASSCE passes as that could be deceitful and misleading.
They are also advised to look beyond the seemingly good results and assess the strength of the individual candidate’s passes and the number of them that were admissible into the universities to help them to strategise.
Professor Kofi Quashigah, Dean, University of Ghana Law School, making the call, said the 90 and 100 overall high percentage WASSCE passes schools touted about, were excellent on the surface, but discouraging when analysed in relation to candidate by candidate passes and their admissibility into tertiary schools.
He was giving the keynote address at the 82nd Speech and Prize Giving Day of Zion College (ZICO), Volta Region’s oldest second cycle school at Anloga, in the Anloga District, where deserving teachers and students received awards.
Prof. Quarshigah, bemoaning declining academic standards nationwide, said it was a matter of concern, if a students’ schooling truncated at the SHS level, because they were not groomed there for life, for which one needed to go further academically, be mature and armed with skills for life.
“The SHS level does not provide a guaranteed bright future because the system as it is now does not provide employable skills at the SHS, which is also not enough to even enable one to self-employ”, the Law Dean said.
Prof. Quashigah, analysing each student’s subject by subject outlook in ZICO’s 2018 WASSCE result in relation to current University admissions, taking the University of Ghana, which usually fixed its admission aggregates’ cut-off points at between 14 to 17 for the regular programmes of the Humanities, as an example, noted, “only a sprinkling of the students were qualified for admission into any tertiary institution”.
He noted that none of the students again qualified for admissions into the Law and Medical Schools at University of Ghana, Legon or Kwame Nkrumah University in Kumasi, both of which had their aggregates’ cut-off points for those courses normally at six in six subjects, three Core, three Elective, for instance.
On the Anniversary theme: “Supporting the success of the Free Senior High School in Zion College – The role of stakeholders”, he lauded the Free SHS scheme, but noted unless stakeholders, including; Government, managements, teachers, communities, parents, alumni and students passionately played their part, it could not succeed.
The Law Dean, who is also ZICO Alumna, proposed the formation of what he called a “Visitation Panel” to be mandated “to investigate the state of affairs in the institute, identifying problems inhibiting optimum success, examine respective stakeholder roles and propose solutions and way forward”.
Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Education, in a speech read on his behalf, said Government was aware quality remained the cornerstone for the success of the Free SHS policy, which made enrolments, jumped 30.7 percent in 2017 and 2018.
He said the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) for infrastructure expansion and the pre-tertiary curriculum reforms for example were geared for quality and appealed to stakeholders – managements, teachers, parents, communities, alumni and pupils to rise up to the task.
Dr Prempeh, paying tribute to the late Reverend Dr. Ferdinand Kwasi Fiawoo, founder of the school under the AME Zion Mission, commended stakeholders for the successes so far, and advised students not to toy with the investment being made in them, and the teachers, he advised to remain role models.