The Ministry of Education (MoE) has been urged to initiate reforms aimed at improving the standards of assessment in the pre-tertiary education level.
According to the Executive Director of the Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, reforms such as engaging international assessors and establishing a regulator or examining body to take away the monopoly of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) will help improve assessment standards.
“The cost-effective way is to amend the mandate of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) to include regulatory oversight over assessment bodies,” he suggested.
Mr. Asare said WAEC has enjoyed monopoly as the body in charge of assessment of students at the pre-tertiary level for the past 50 years without any accountability because of semi-autonomous status operating under the Ministry Education.
He stated that the Council has issues of credibility due to the frequent leakage of examination questions and other malpractices, which have been a matter of public concern.
“These credibility gaps have the potential to affect the quality of certification of our pre-tertiary education system and its recognition,” he argued.
Mr. Asare made the observation when he presented a paper on the “Strengthening Basic Education In Ghana” during the Center for Democratic Development’s (CDD-Ghana’s) post-election policy dialogue with the media on social development issues, particularly on education and health.
He noted the past four years had witnessed a comprehensive reform initiative to enhance the quality of basic education and said this included the elevation of minimum competency for teaching certification from Certificate A to a university degree.
According to him, the period has also seen to the deployment of over 90,000 teachers to ensure availability of highly competent teaching force.
Mr. Asare, however, indicated that the distribution of teachers had not been equitable with the exclusion of rural learners to the advantage of urban and peri-urban learners.
“The lack of adequate qualified teachers in rural schools, inadequate financing of basic education at the school/district level coupled with the delayed release of the Capitation Grant and lack of teacher accountability among others continue to plague equitable progress in basic education,” he indicated.
Mr. Asare therefore called for further training and deployment of teachers on foundations of equity through a comprehensive teachers’ rationalization system.
He explained that this would ensure that teachers are deployed strictly in accordance the pupil-teacher ratio and as far as practicable the native language, while implementing interventions to enhance their acceptance of postings.
CDD-Ghana, under the Promoting Responsive and Responsible Manifestos for Inclusive Development Project, launched a 10-sector research on critical issues that political parties must consider and address in their 2020 campaign manifestos.
The report, which sought to inform and influence national agenda-setting and policy for inclusive development, was submitted to the political parties for consideration.
The forum formed part of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) funded Manifesto Project and it was aimed to provide an open space for CDD-Ghana to dialogue and exchange views with the media on how some of those policies within the social sectors can be pushed to influence policy and the national agenda.