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General News of Wednesday, 25 January 2017


SHS duration debate 'wrong focus' - Kinna Likimani

Kinna Likimani Kinna Likimani

The recurrent debate over the duration of Ghana’s senior high school education is not only the most politically convenient and easiest thing to do but also the “lowest hanging fruit in our education system”, even though the problem is with the entire spectrum, Kinna Likimani, Founder/Executive Director of NGO AfterSchool Ghana, has said.

“The issue is not the length of SHS, the issue is: how well-prepared our students are; what are the benchmarks, what do we think a child who has finished primary school […] should […] be able to do as a minimum; and how are we assessing literacy? How are we assessing numeracy, do we have too many subjects, are we teaching subjects that should really be practical but we don’t have the resources, so, we are only focusing on the theory of it, are we giving our children the opportunity to read to the teachers? This is what this is about; it’s not about the length of SHS. It gets to a stage where you could give 10 years and it is not going to increase the pass rate,” she said.

Her concerns follow a resurgence of the debate over whether to reverse the SHS programme to four years with the advent of a new government.

The Kufuor administration introduced the four-year programme but it was reversed to the original three-year system when the National Democratic Congress succeeded the New Patriotic Party administration in 2009.

The NPP is now back in office after the 7 December elections of last year, sparking the debate once more.

However, Ms Likimani is of the opinion that the tinkering with the duration of SHS is more political than anything else.

“…What we tend to do, because it’s politically motivated, is also to tinker with what is the pass rate because we want to artificially increase the pass rate. The focus on our education system is the wrong thing,” she insisted in an interview with Moro Awudu on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Wednesday, 25 January.

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