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Ghana’s Education System To Face Decrease In Academic Performance For Some Years

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Ghana’s Education System To Face Decrease In Academic Performance For Some Years.

Ghana is known to be one of the West African countries with a good education system. Ghana’s education system has produced many great people across the world over the years. Though Ghana is a developing country, it has enjoyed many educational glories. It can not be compared to other African countries that are now building their educational system.

Even before Ghana gained her independence, it had attained some academic goals for it people. Many are those we can mention, like Dr James Kwegyir Aggrey, Dr Kwame Nkrumah and other great men. They achieved their standard basic school in Ghana before moving abroad to further their education. This is enough to prove the worth of our education.

Many changes have happened over the years in Ghana’s education. It includes the addition and deduction of subjects, the introduction of new teaching and learning methods, educational reforms among others. These changes have affected Ghana’s education system both positively and negatively.

Ghana's Education System To Face Decrease In Academic Performance For Some Years.
Ghanaian Primary School Children. [Photo Credit: ghanaweb.com]

The big question is: Has these changes or reforms added value to Ghana’s education system or devalued it?

I shall take you through a step by step transition in the education system and it’s good and bad. How formal education began and where we have gotten to as a nation.

Education before colonisation in Ghana was informal. It was an education that inspires oral communication of knowledge to younger people in homes. In the year 1592, formal education began in Ghana to raise educated blacks to help spread the gospel. After some years, this purpose changed and education in Ghana had more goals than just raising people for the sake of the gospel.

Practical lessons including, weaving, Mason works, carpentry works and others were added to the education in addition to Reading, Writing and Mathematics. This system underwent many reforms. The major reform occurred in the 1980s after independence.

It brought the introduction of free compulsory primary and Junior High School education. The aim was to make sure every Ghanaian youth finished at least JHS education.

Many reforms have taken place after 1980. In 1987,…, 2007 and the current reform occurred in 2019. Before the current educational reform, there have been ups and downs in Ghana’s education system and academics. The number of passes varied year by year in an imbalance sequence.

Ghana's Education System To Face Decrease In Academic Performance For Some Years.
Junior High School (JHS) students. [Photo credit: imperial.ac.uk] {Source: shutterstock images}

After the 2019 reform, there have been many doubts if the system could achieve its aim. Oral research done by Dembe Publications in some rural areas indicates many declines in Ghana’s educational system based on different opinions. Analysis shows that it will take some years for the system to yield profits as intended. In its early stages, it will have many downs than ups.

The following are some reasons why people think there will be a decline in academics for some years before the true aims of the reformed pop-up.

1. Change In Curriculum: The 2019 educational reform brought many changes to Ghana’s education system. There were amendments in subjects, topics and teacher learning materials.  The reform saw an introduction of news subjects into primary and JHS education. New subjects like History, Our World Our People and a Restructured Physical Education.

These subjects are equally important and helpful as the old subjects. It introduces and exposes the child to new fields of study. The main issue with the additional subjects is the burden it has placed on school children. Study shows that it will contribute to a decline in overall academics since it’s new to students. The 2019 educational reform came with a total of 10 subjects including French.

Ghana's Education System To Face Decrease In Academic Performance For Some Years.
Pupils being taught in primary school.

 Many teachers agree that the subjects are too many for primary school learners. Teachers have suggested a fusion of some subjects to favour average and below-average students in primary school.

Also, educators think their expectations of an inclusive life skill practical work was not introduced in primary schools. And the practical lessons in the JHS is also not satisfactory. Many of the teachers and students polled compared the new system to the old one and judged it. Some went for and some went against.

2. Changes In Methods Of Teaching And Learning:  This is also a factor that will contribute to the decline in academics. Methods of teaching are new to teachers and it would take some time for them to be familiar with the system.

Also, the change in the trend of how learning is absorbed is a great factor in a decrease in academic performance. As it is also new to students. Everything seems new and might retard educational progress for some time before educators and learners get used to the new ways of teaching and learning.

Another destruction is the introduction of E-learning. While it is great, it is all new to many pupils in Ghana and would take some time to get used to it. E-learning also has threats to students’ performance while they use the Internet to study. Proper regulation of e-learning can turn the whole education system around if done properly. Because E-learning is the way.

3. The Absence Of Discipline: This is one of the most talked-about topics in Ghana’s education. The removal of corporal punishment without any ways of dealing with unruly behaviours.

Many teachers and educationist agree that punishing students’ deviant behaviour by inflicting pain on learners is not right. The big question is: How do we deal with these behaviours in Ghana’s education system?

4. Changes In Academic Calendar: This is also a major way the academics of students may be affected. A typical example is a way our Senior High Schools are run in the country. Giving long vacations and minimising duration spent in school. Current statistics show that there are many dropouts due to long vacations. Some students find interest in other activities and ignore their education.

Ghana's Education System To Face Decrease In Academic Performance For Some Years.
Students and teacher on their way home during vacation. [Photo Credit: imperial.ac.uk]

From 2017 to 2020, many girls have dropped out of school due to teenage pregnancy. One cause of dropout is attributed to the long duration of vacations.

5. Failure To Improve Standard Of Education In Rural Areas: This has contributed greatly to the decline in academic performance over the years. Lack of adequate infrastructure in rural areas is a major cause of academic setback in Ghana.

Ghana's Education System To Face Decrease In Academic Performance For Some Years.
Primary School In Ghana. [Photo Credit: usaid.gov]

Also, the unavailability of the required number of staff. The improvement of such situations can contribute greatly to the success of Ghana’s Education System.

Kindly visit https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316035018_Educational_Reforms_in_Ghana_Past_and_Present to read about Ghana’s Educational Reform from Pre-Colonial, Colonial and Post Colonial era.

Disclaim: This article is not intended to speak ill of any institution or individual. It is solely the opinions of people expressed that has been combined in written form.

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