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A counsellor and Educationist, Daniel Fenyi, has criticized the Ghana Education Service on its decision to spend some 3 billion cedis on “Past Questions” for Senior High School Students, while Basic Schools still lack Textbooks.
Counsellor Fenyi said, Currently, Basic Schools in Ghana, from KG to class 6, do not have textbooks to study.
”Actually, they don’t even have an approved syllabus/curriculum from which teachers can teach. They are depending on the temporary Resource Pack given them.”
”However, the Government has spent about 35Billion Cedis to purchase “Past Questions” (not textbooks) for SHS students. This is an upfront insult to basic school students and their teachers!” He lamented.
Exam- Centred Educational System
Mr Fenyi further indicated that the New Patriotic Party ( NPP) Government is promoting “exam centred” educational system.
”In the 21st century when countries in the world are building well-advanced I.C.T Labs, modern Science labs, Vocational and Technical Workshops, new Agricultural technologies, etc, the Government of Ghana is buying “Past Questions” for students.”
”What kind of future leaders are we building and how can they meet the demands of the growing world with ‘past questions’.’ He asked.
“Past Questions” over textbooks
Comparing the impact of Past Questions and Textbooks on Learners, Mr Fenyi asked when “Past Questions” took the place of textbooks.
”Past questions are supposed to be used as complementary materials to textbooks and classroom lessons. They are not to take the place of textbooks.”
”Why is the process overturned now? The government must not be seen to be endorsing the “chew-pour-forget” concept but unfortunately, that’s exactly what we are seeing.” He quizzed.
Role of Teachers
The University of Education, Winneba Lecturer questioned the role of teachers in the ”Past Questions” Concept.
”What is the role of the teacher in this “Past Questions” concept? It is unfortunate that many education policies treat teachers as though they were irrelevant. ”
”Students alone cannot use and wholly understand past questions without the support of a highly motivated teacher. What orientation have teachers been given? Are they to use the questions as part of classroom discussion? What motivation is given the Ghanaian teacher to do his work?” He asked.
WASSCE 2020 lost credibility
Mr Fenyi lamented that the introduction of the ‘Past Questions’ implies WASSCE 2020 has already lost credibility.
”WASSCE 2020 has already lost credibility? Why would the country use about 35Billion taxpayers money to purchase past questions? ” He asked.
”Has WAEC hinted anyone that they will repeat these questions? Or is the government going to “order” WAEC to set questions from the past questions?”
”Past questions are good but when a country invests about 35Billion in it, issues of credibility become a concern.” He indicated.
”We are destroying this country and that must stop NOW. The politicization of every aspect of the country is getting nauseating and annoying.”
”The politicians should leave the running of crucial sectors of the economy to technocrats. You are considering making Grade D7 an accepted grade for tertiary admission and now, past questions. ”
”Is the Free SHS policy and its subsequent policies like Double track, no cut-off grade for BECE posting, etc already sending fears to certain people?” He asked.