Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey is calling on educationists to end the ‘useless’ debate on the time students spend in Senior High Schools.
He says the focus should rather be on what students can do after school as that will help determine the number of years needed. He says comparing Ghana’s educational practices to international best practices will help with the restructuring.
“We’ve seen the 15year old Singaporeans, how long do they spend in school after primary …. how does ours compare with theirs? Once we know what an 18year old Ghanaian child should be able to do then we can look at the curriculum and decide how many years will be required to deliver that curriculum”
Speaking at the 4th edition of ‘Achimota Speaks’, the economist said even though access to basic and secondary education has improved in Ghana over the years, it is not matched with the corresponding resources which affects the quality of education especially in the public and rural schools.
According to Prof. Aryeetey in 1992 students leaving the basic schools literates from the public schools were more than those leaving the private schools but in 2006 there was a reversal. He said even though the literacy rate has improved for both, it has improved much faster for the private”
With a growing preference for private education at different levels, Prof. Aryeetey believes there is the need to allow public private partnership in public schools to help bridge the gap. He said, “these partnerships must involve some equity arrangements” as companies owning shares in the schools will provide the needed money for facilities such as laboratories, classrooms, roads and study materials.
He said some incentives should also be provided for teachers to motivate them to give off their best. According to him, “we can develop some standardised test, let every school bring its top 50 students to compete so the number of students that hit a certain mark is used to incentify the teachers”.
He added that through the PPP, housing can be provided in rural areas to incite teachers to go to such areas.
Prof. Aryeetey also believes the Ghana Education Service should be made a regulator of the school system rather than a manager because “the Ghana Education Service turns to micro-manage our schools” which does not help the running of the schools.