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General News of Friday, 2 September 2016

Source: Class FM

Stop WASSCE failures - GNAT to members

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has entreated its members to be more proactive and double their efforts to reverse the high rate of failures in the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

The association which expressed discontent over the low pass rate in the just-ended WASSCE, admonished teachers to be “diligent in the discharge of their duties to assist in reversing the trend of student failure”.

The association stated this in a communiqué signed by its acting National President, Philippa Larsen, on September 2 after a National Council meeting held at the GNAT Village at Abankro, near Ejisu, in the Ashanti Region from Monday August 29 to Friday September 2, 2016.

The association also appealed to stakeholders in education “to have a dispassionate debate on the issue of the duration of the senior high school (SHS) programme as it is convinced that the duration of the programme as currently being run, is not up to three academic years".

According to the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), only 53.19 per cent of students who sat for the 2015/2016 WASSCE passed in English, with only 32.83 per cent passing in Core Mathematics.

Additionally, only 48.48 per cent of students secured passes in Integrated Science. It has emerged that less than half of the 247,262 students who sat for the examination obtained the minimum grades to gain admission into tertiary institutions.

The association believes that teachers have a big role to play in ensuring that a higher number of pupils who sit for the exams record good results.

Meanwhile, the association has called on “District Directors who have taken up the responsibility of setting end-of-term examination questions for teachers to administer” to desist from the practice as it does not promote confidence-building in the teachers.

They also called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ministry of Education to resolve the issue of boarding fees of students in the various schools because it is causing anxiety among parents, guardians, and students on one hand and the management of schools on the other.

They entreated banks to waive all forms of charges on Capitation Grants and consider it as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.

The association said it would be glad if stakeholders resolved inconsistencies in the structure and syllabi of colleges of education to ensure uniformity.

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