THE SICKNESS IN OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
Whenever I hear the Expects in our Educational system doing the grade comparisons among schools.
Then I begin to ask ;
What really is education?
Does high grades mean high standard of Education?
Are our schools just grade factories?
Is the basic school only established just to produce students to fill our senior high schools?
Does it mean every student who doesn’t make it to the senior high school is failure in life?
Which system examines the skills and attitudes acquired by students in the school?
Are examinations the end result of schooling?
The above questions baffles me all the time when ever I hear people comment after WASSCE or BECE.
Frankly I believe the reason for the low standard of Education in Ghana is the overwhelming emphasis on examinations and production of grades.
You ask me how? Because this has led to;
Tertiary students craving for grades instead of knowledge.
Some ladies sleeping with lectures for grades instead of attending lectures for knowledge.
Teachers and school authorities helping students to cheat in examinations for a better name for the school (sowing corruption in the child and you call it education?)
The unending leakage of examination papers.
Most schools now are just there for business, get all means to let the pupils pass the exams, advertise the results and get more admissions.
We must realize that the various subjects have their specific behaviors, knowledge, attitudes and skills stipulated in the syllabus for the students to get after studying the subject.
But now if you get to most of the school’s, when students get to JHS the syllabus is thrown into the gutter and the memorization of Pasco becomes the order of the day.
Since when has rote learning(learning without understanding) become a form of learning?
Learning is said to be learning when it brings change to life of the learner.
But teaching has now turn into mere delivering process where children just swallow concepts without understanding. And the adverse effects, scoring high marks yet can’t really apply things learnt to real life situations.
Just like the way the oven changes everything that gets into get, so should the school.
I am looking forward to a day when a forum will be organized to ask why ;
Students pass French exams yet can’t complete a full sentence in French language?
Students write and pass R. M. E yet can’t exhibit little manners.?
Students Pass ICT yet can’t perform simple computer tasks.?
Students study BDT yet cannot boast of basic skills like sewing, carpentry or masonry?
Students who performs exceptionally at the BECE become average students at the senior high school?
A Public school teacher can convince his headteacher to scout, sieve, select, train and present only good students for the BECE. They can get hundred percent pass. But wait a minute, what about the others who we have repeated? Will they continue to remain in school forever? Are they all the same? Beyond the exams what change has the learning brought to the child.
The world is evolving and hence needs the human resource to match up with the challenges it presents. So the school must bring up people who can go beyond just passing examinations.
Teaching should be done perfectly so us to benefit every child. When teaching is done holistically, children will pass exams and be relevant to society as well and the others who genuinely cannot make through the exams will also fine their
The best teacher is not the one whose students memories concepts to just pass exams but the one whose students can apply the concepts learnt to influence society positively.
Hence teachers must help inculcate into their students values and attitudes needed for national development.
Teachers must realize every child is unique hence teaching should be fair to them all and teachers must not forced students to be like others but rather help them to unearth their unique potentials. And must also know that exams is not an ideal toolfor assessing every student. So students must be made to realize that exams are just like speed ramps or Junction on a journey but not the destination. So there’s life after examinations.
I would like to call on our educational commentators to reconsider what they call high standard of Education.
I would like to call on the government to make education practical and meaningful by providing the necessary equipments and facilities.
To my colleague teachers, teaching does not only start when you begin writing on the board but the moment we get to school. The fact is our students learn more from what we do than what we consciously teach them.
To public school teachers let us always remember that we are paid from the national purse therefore it is incumbent on us to deliver well for the benefit of our students. But in our quest to make students Pass examination we tend to either ignore the teaching of positive attitudes and values or rather teach them how to be corrupt and cheat their way through things. And now when the children grow and now practicing what they were taught, then we turn around to cry? Funny!
So you ask how to fight negative work attitudes, corruption and bribery? Then I say lets reconsider what we call quality or high standard of Education.
Lets teach our students how to change and solve the world’s problems but not just grades n certificate holders.
Mr. Eric Wireko is a teacher & Examiner
(B’ED. GHA. LANG. AKAN – UEW) 0260792376/0241328774/0547318490