Prof. Francis Amedahe, Former Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Cape Coast (UCC), has stressed the need to strengthen the standards of basic schools as strong pillars on which secondary education would stand.
Prof. Amedahe, who was delivering a Public Lecture in Accra on Monday, February 25, 2019 on the theme: Secondary Education in Ghana―Achievements, Challenges and the Way Forward, explained that with poor foundations, teachers at the secondary level could not move teaching and learning at the expected rate, citing Singapore where, he said, there were no deprived or underserved schools.
The lecture, the 5th in a series, was organized by the Keta Secondary School (Ketascho) Past Students' Association to mark the occasion of the 66th Founders' Day anniversary celebration of the School.
He said the scarcity of qualified professional teachers in Mathematics and Integrated Science was undermining students' performance in core subject areas.
Prof. Amedahe said good quality education required regular in-service training and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for teachers, availability of laboratory equipment, classroom and, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure as well as teaching and learning aids such as text books.
He bemoaned the lack of strong accountability systems or measures, large class sizes and the non-completion of syllabi at both basic and secondary levels which, he said, gave rise to the deficit syndrome which, in turn, affected students' performance during examinations.
Prof. Amedahe underscored the importance of counselling and guidance in schools, while stressing the need to bridge the teacher recruitment deficit gap.
Furthermore, he said, the inconsistencies in the performance of students during examinations should be addressed by drawing a road map and a strategic plan for the schools.
He called for the lifting of the ban on the payment of Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) dues because the ban was depriving the schools of the necessary funds to effectively run the schools, adding, however, that Senior High Schools (SHSs) should be adequately resourced.
In a welcome address, Mr Asiwome Agbenyega, President, Ketascho Past Students Association and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the School, noted that the essence of the lecture was to generate debate that would help promote quality education.
Mr Agbenyega said discussions on education should not be politicized, but treated as a national issue that required the participation of all stakeholders, adding that efforts were required to inculcate patriotism in the youth through education.
He urged all stakeholders to ensure that education in Ghana was globally competitive, technologically proficient while producing honest and hardworking citizens.
Dr Modestus Fosu, Acting Deputy Rector, Ghana Institute of Journalism and Chairman for the occasion, underscored the importance of good quality education and the role of all stakeholders in providing the best for future generations.