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Minister urges collective action to address education challenges

Mr Stephen Yakubu

Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, said it was time stakeholders, including teachers, political leaders, and parents pulled synergies to implement innovative ideas to curb the falling standards of education in the area.

He bemoaned the continuous decline in performance of pupils and students, over the years, in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and West African Senior High School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), despite 90 per cent of trained teachers teaching in public schools in the region.

“All the problems we have here cut across the entire country but other regions are doing well, and we are not, which I don’t understand. Everything boils down to management, so we need to do things differently to achieve different results,” he said.

Mr Yakubu made these remarks during the Regional Education Review meeting, organised by the Regional Directorate of the Ghana Education Service (GES) in Bolgatanga.

It was to create a platform for the stakeholders to brainstorm on solutions to address the poor performance of pupils and students in the region.

Statistics from the GES shows that performance in the BECE and WASSCE, especially in core subjects; Mathematics, English Language, Integrated Science and Social Studies, continued to fall.

The region recorded a decline from 54.4 per cent in 2019 to 52 per cent in 2021 in Mathematic, 52.9 per cent in English in 2019 to 48.6 in 2021, Integrated Science declined from 55.3 per cent in 2019 to 50.2 per cent in 2021, and Social Studies declined from 52.8 per cent in 2019 to 46.9 per cent in 2021.

Mr Yakubu explained that there were varied factors including infrastructure deficit, management, and poor attitude of some teachers that adversely affected performance and called for all hands-on deck to change the narrative, which would help reduce poverty and improve livelihoods.

He appealed to members of parliament to use the education allocation of their share of the Common Fund to provide infrastructure for deprived schools to complement the efforts of government in delivering quality education.
He urged management of the various schools and teachers to device ways of paying special attention to students who had difficulties in some subject areas.

Mrs Anne Estella Kye-eebo, the Upper East (Caretaker) Regional Director of GES, said attention had not been paid to grassroots education, including kindergarten and nursery, and that had affected development of students as they progressed to higher classes.

She said insufficient and dilapidated school structures, lack of furniture compelling students to learn on bare floor, among other challenges, could be blamed for the poor performance, adding that the kindergarten level was the worst hit as many were still learning under trees.

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