Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh
The Ministry of Education (MoE) has denied reports that the government of Ghana is planning to upgrade junior high and senior high school certificates to diplomas.
At the 2019 Danquah Institute Leadership lecture on the theme: ‘World-Class Education: An Imperative for the Next Generation of Leaders,’ the Minister for Education, Dr Mathew Opoku-Prempeh popularly known as Napo, is reported to have said that: “The curriculum that will appear for the junior high school will lead to a National Higher Diploma. When you finish senior high school, you get a National Diploma. It is not everybody who must go to university straight, but we must prepare our kids for the world of work”.
But the MoE, in a statement, has disclosed that the minister’s comments have been misrepresented and taken out of context.
“The minister did not state that junior high school graduates would be awarded a diploma. Indeed, given the government’s commitment to redefining basic education to include senior high school, in respect of which the Pre-Tertiary Education Bill is in Parliament, it is inconceivable that the minister would suggest that junior high school graduates will be awarded diplomas or any other certification to enable them to seek work,” the statement read.
The statement further explained that the minister sought to ignite a conversation on whether all senior high school students should take a university entrance examination such as the WASSCE, given the diversity of learners in the senior high school system.
On media reports that there are plans by the government to reduce the number of years spent by undergraduates at the university from four to three years, the statement said: “The minister referred to the need for a strong and robust pre-tertiary education structure and noted that with such a system, a discussion on whether the current four-year undergraduate degree could be reduced to three years,” adding that: “Indeed, the minister referred to the fact that prior to the 1987 reforms that saw the shift from the A level to the Senior High School system, an undergraduate degree was three years, similar to and that in the case of the University of Ghana in particular, the first year was non-scoring referred to as First University Examinations (FUE).
It further disclosed that the minister in his speech sought to trigger a national dialogue to potentially reconsider reverting to this undergraduate model, with a much improved and more robust Senior High School curriculum so that students can be adequately prepared for a three-year undergraduate programme.”
BY Nii Adjei Mensahfio
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