General News of Monday, 11 February 2019
The Education Ministry has mounted a strong defence for its man at the helm, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, saying that his recent comments about transforming the education sector have been taken out of context.
“The Minister did not state that junior high school graduates would be awarded a diploma” as the media reports suggested.
“Indeed, given the government’s commitment to redefining basic education to include Senior High School…it is inconceivable that the Minister would suggest JHS graduates would be awarded diplomas or any other certification to enable them seek work,” the statement said.
Responding to reports that quoted the Minister as saying the duration of degree programmes could be slashed from four to three years, the statement said what Dr. Opoku Prempeh sought to do was to “trigger a national dialogue” on the issue.
The statement also said the Minister referred to pre-tertiary curriculum reforms being developed by the government and noted that with such a robust system, a discussion on reducing the number of years for degree courses could be reduced.
The statement added as follows:
“Indeed, the Minister referred to the fact that prior to the 1987 reforms that saw the shift from the ‘A’ level to the senior high school system, an undergraduate degree was three years, similar to and that in the case of the University of Ghana in particular, the first year was non-scoring, referred to as First University Examinations (FUE).”
“On the second issue, the Minister sought to ignite a conversation on whether all senior high school students should write a university entrance exam such as the West Africa Senior Secondary School Examination given the diversity of learners in our senior high school system.”
“The Minister mooted the idea of a national diploma for all SHS leavers, which will enable them to go into work, with those desiring to enter university then going on the write the WASSCE in order to do so. It will be noted that in the USA, all high school leavers gain a national diploma to enable them go into work, with the SAT examinations being a tither requisite for those seeking to enter university.“
The statement added that the Ministry “is particularly committed to engaging relevant stakeholders in its ongoing comprehensive reforms agenda.”