The Minister for Education Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman has said that the persistent failure in West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in second cycle schools is to be blamed on the school heads.
She stressed that the heads of such schools would not be tolerated any longer as they are creating a bad reputation in the education sector and the country at large. She made it clear that for the sector to keep them, some factors from now on are to be intensively considered, with the students’ performance chief among them.
‘The Ministry of Education cannot accept the practice of heads who superintend over consistent poor performance…we wonder why a head from a public or private institution that superintends over a failure rate of 90 per cent is allowed to continue operations without accounting to the Ghana Education Service and the public,” she said.
She said this while addressing stakeholders at a meeting held in Kumasi with heads of public and private Senior High Schools (SHS) across the nation to discuss strategic ways to raise performance during the WASSCE exams this year. The meeting saw about 500 school heads, regional directors and directors from the ministry.
The aim of the meeting was to examine causes of constant low performance at WASSCE exams in schools across the country, to discuss measures to take to avert the situation and to plan for proper steps to support schools in their preparations towards this year’s WASSCE and beyond. The minister also said that private schools would have to justify their continued operation with the performance of their students in the WASSCE exams.
Reports have it that out of about 850 public and private senior secondary schools, 250 schools have had low performance consistently. The Minister said that over the past three years, the ministry had invested a significant proportion of its budget allocation to expanding access and improving the quality of secondary education.
Professor Agyeman told school heads to adopt effective ways to watch and direct academic work in their schools.
“The head’s job is to keep an eye on the academic activities of the school during teaching hours; you should ensure that studies progress well and in accordance with the curricula and the set timetable,” she said
The minister pointed out that some school heads are the reasons behind their school’s low performance because they put up a nonchalant towards their student’s performance and some have been regularly absent among other shortcomings.
Finally, she said the ministry was to focus on the strategies to achieve radical improvement of students’ performance in the WASSCE, especially in core subjects like Mathematics and Science. However, school heads are to sit up or have themselves to blame.
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