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The Government of Ghana is working massively to improve upon education in the country.
This is very good, especially in conformity to the fact that education is the back bone for national development. In the quest of fulfilling the educational aims of the country, the Government has implemented reforms and policies to steer affairs. Examples of such policies are;
1. *The four year B.ED(Degree) Program, to replace the three year DBE Program in the various Colleges of Education in the country*
2. *The Licensial Examination which will pave way for Trainees to acquire license after completing College.*
3. *The National Service Scheme which provides the avenue for the Trainees to branch to different fields of career opportunities after completing College.*
4. *Free SHS.*
In this article, I want to lay more emphasis on the *Four Year B.ED Program.*
a. This Program has come to relief the burdens of Trainees going through the stressful *Three Year DBE Program* to acquire basic Diploma, in addition to another likely uneasy two years to get First Degree, from the Trainees.
b. It will also reduce the high cost Trainees incur in going through these two stages of education.
c. It will as well save time since, instead of five years, Trainees will spend four years, to acquire a First Degree.
Let us then look at the other side of this B.ED(Degree) Program.
Actually, this is where my interest is.
Upon the numerous positivities of this Program, great threat awaits the future of our Youth who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of this program.
i. *The introduction of the program and its delivery.*
The best way to have introduced this program was to provide avenues for more sensitization workshops to enlighten lecturers and tutors who are the technocrats. Even if it was done, it was not done to meet its ideal expectations.
In view of this, delivery became a major challenge for tutors because they did not have more insight into what they were supposed to teach. *I want you all to bear with me that there is no way a student is expected to understand what even the lecturer himself who is teaching does not understand.*
This will results in the mass failure of students if they sit for the examination under this condition.
Trainees are offering as many as nine courses in a semester. This is too much, especially for starting a new program. As a matter of fact, Trainees do not understand what is being taught, how much more thinking about digesting these many courses. This discourages them.
Course outline for the various courses are not made available to Trainees on time therefore they cannot do any reasonable research to solicit for information on the courses being offered.
The delayance of teaching and learning materials is another contributing factor. Sometimes students get handouts about a month to examination or even less. This is evidential fact accounting for the mass failure of Trainees.
*The course outline that has been released for the prospective level 200 students captures nothing under Citizenship Education. It means students cannot research on what to learn.*
*Prerequisites of Courses*
Learning is a process which starts from the known to the unknown. Education has been categorized in stages in such a way to build on what we already know, to ensure understanding.
With respect to the B.ED Program, the prerequisites of some courses especially the science courses, *General Biology, General Chemistry and General Physics,* are such that “students have acquired knowledge in elective Biology, Chemistry and/or Physics in SHS”. *This means that the various courses are going to be to the disadvantage of Trainees who do not have elective science background.* One thing we should not forget is that there are only few elective science students in the various Colleges. The outcome of this is a mass failure in examination.
The introduction of the program was met with a one month strike action by lecturers and tutors due to the inability of the Government to fulfill certain duties.
*Trainees used 12 weeks instead of 16 weeks to study the courses they do not understand, all because lecturers we’re on strike.* UCC as well did not consider all these and now you want to send students home for poor performance.
All the above factors have contributed to the poor performance of Trainees and they are not to be blamed for that.
Besides Trainees were not informed about the modalities concerning sacking them home for poor performance, during their orientation. They were only notified about writing resit examination at a cost for trailing in a particular course.
Just about three days to registration for the resit examination, UCC has come out to tell Trainees that they will be sacked to go home if they trailed in 12 credit hours or more in both first and second semester examinations.
*THIS IS NOT FAIR.*
I call on the Ministry of Education, all Stake holders, NCCE, and all the Teacher Associations in the country to step in this sensitive issue.
The Government is trying to improve upon education but we should not also forget that about 460 students across the 46 Colleges in the country are going to stay in the house.
Leaders! Think about the future of these students who will be sent to go home and what happens afterwards.
*By sending them home, leaders are indirectly sponsoring unemployment, streetism, prostitution, and other social vices.*
Leaders should also consider the huge sum of money parents have invested into their wards’ education, only to hear that their wards are coming home after the first year of studies, without certificates because they could not perform well in Examination which was not presented in the right way while learning.
*Leaders! Put yourselves in the shoes of the affected students and the parents and you will understand their plight.*
1. All students who were referred in 12 credit hours or more should be allowed to register and write the resit examination together with the other students who trailed in less than 12 credit hours.
2. The policy of sending students who trails in 12 credit hours or more away should start from the 2019/2020 academic year group, and must be communicated well to them, if that is the only way to go about things.
3. Trainees must be cautioned to take their studies seriously.
4. Teaching and learning materials should be made available to students on time for adequate preparation.
SRC GENERAL SECRETARY
SDA COLLEGE OF EDUCATION