Dr George Afeti, Executive Secretary, National Inspectorate Board, has called for an effective education and training system that would produce graduates who are equipped to face the difficulties and ambiguities of life in all its dimensions.
“We need graduates who are creative and resilient and who not only know things or about things but know how to apply what they know,” he said at the 2013 Founder’s Week Celebrations of Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) in Accra.
The Founder’s Week Celebration which is on theme: “Education for national development” was attended by people from the academia as well as the public.
Dr Afeti who spoke on the topic: “Reviewing secondary, technical education and skills training in Ghana,” stated that one of the key constraints to achieve the global objectives of education is the obsession with examinations.
He noted that the tyranny of examinations is so pervasive in the Ghanaian education system to the extent that all teaching and learning is geared towards passing examinations rather building a learning society.
He said examinations should be used for identifying the learning needs of students rather than assessing learning.
Dr Afeti said senior high schools (SHSs) in particular must be seen to contribute to the creation of a learning and knowledge society instead of behaving as a clearing house for accessing university education.
He said although education is supposed to be an equalising force, in Ghana it is becoming a factor of inequality.
“The education system appears to be promoting disparities through competition,” he said.
He stated that another important challenge to secondary and technical education in the country is the issue of access and equity.
He however noted that expanding access to secondary education does not necessarily translate into building new secondary school.
Dr Afeti explained that in the 2012/13 academic year, a total of 828 SHSs in Ghana was made up of 535 public and 293 private. Of the 535 public SHS, 315 had enrolments below 500 students, 184 schools had less than 200 enrolled and 89 schools had students’ population of less than 100 persons.
He said most of the under-populated SHS are community-based and located in the rural areas and as such have not lived up to the expectation of bringing quality SHS education to the doorsteps of rural dwellers, increasing access and participation as well as reducing the cost burden on parents.
He therefore called for the under-populated secondary schools to be resourced and empowered to increase their enrolments in the short in the short term, while new secondary schools are constructed in underserved areas in the medium to long term.
Dr Afeti also called for paradigm shift from competition among schools to focus on school-specific, quality-enhancing interventions that are necessary for improving the broad array of learning outcomes.
He said education and skill training strategies should take into account that an individual does not only have an economic life but social, cultural and religious life as well. GNA