The Table Has Now Turned To Course Content

It Is Not a Question of Duration but Course Content


The Vice-Chancellor of the country’s flagship academy, the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, has given a ringing endorsement to the argument by the key operatives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that contrary to what their opponents in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) would have the rest of the country believe, students who spent four years in high school, on average, outperformed those who spent only three years in high school (See “4yrs SHS Students Better Than 3yrs – Prof. Aryeetey” / Ghanaweb.com5/29/16).

The three-year regular high school has been the capstone policy agenda of the National Democratic Congress at least since 2008. Under the tenure of the Kufuor-led administration of the New Patriotic Party, the duration of senior high school was four years. The Mills-Mahama government, and presently the Mahama/Amissah-Arthur regime, reverted the system back to three years. It ought to be clear to the faux-socialist NDC apparatchiks that the three-year system has not redounded to the benefit of the quality of the country’s secondary educational system.

As noted in a previous column, almost every survey conducted by reputable global institutional monitors of qualitative education has ranked the quality of Ghana’s public education at the very bottom of the list, including a recent ranking of some 76 countries by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in which Ghana was ranked 76th out of 76.We are also informed that a survey of national performance trends keyed or conducted between 2006 to 2015, scientifically indicated that students who spent four years in high school significantly outperformed those who spent only three years at the same level of education.

Put in plain language, what this means is that the New Patriotic Party’s high school educational policy has been relatively more successful than that which has been pursued by the National Democratic Congress. What this further means is that parents and guardians who want their children and wards to have a more prosperous academic and professional future are better off hedging their bets around the election of a New Patriotic Party-led government, irrespective of the choice of presidential candidate.

That the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress adamantly refuses to review and revise its decidedly failed three-year secondary educational policy, clearly means that Ghanaians who are heavily invested in the rapid and salutary development of their country have absolutely no other viable alternative but to massively vote for the New Patriotic Party. They may talk about reduced cost, but there is no remarkable evidence that such budgetary expenditure reduction as might have accrued from the pursuance of the three-year high school system has resulted in any significant improvement in physical plant facilities or pedagogical technology upgrade.

In other words, whatever budgetary gains the NDC’s education policy wonks may claim to have made does not seem to have filtered down in the form of capital-resource improvement. Under these circumstances, one begins to logically wonder precisely what positive impact the leaders of the National Democratic Congress could objectively claim to have made on not only the quality of secondary education in the country, but the general quality of formal education in the country at large.

Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
E-mail: [email protected]

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