Sekondi-Takoradi Zonal Chairman of the Ghana Private Schools Association, Charles Mintaba, is demanding from the Ministry of Education what happened to the past questions that were bought for students who wrote last year’s West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for which reason millions of taxpayer’s money is being spent on another purchase.
“Are we going to spend millions of cedis every year to purchase past questions for students?” he asked.
Reacting to the decision to purchase past questions for this year’s WASSCE students on Connect FM, Mr Mintaba was shocked that those who thought about the idea to purchase past questions could not have also considered a system where the questions will be kept for subsequent use?
“The only reason why we are spending huge sums of money again is that the questions were either thrown away by the students after their last paper or they were taken home, which to me is unfortunate. We knew that these questions will come in handy the next year. So why was there no system in place to keep them for the next year? Is it that we take delight in spending money?”
Mr Mintaba mentioned that before the introduction of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy, there was a system in place where teachers themselves will take up the initiative to compile past questions and take the students through with little or sometimes no cost to the students.
“This is one magnanimity that has been taken away by the Free SHS and now look at how much we are spending,” he said.
He was under the impression that the purchase of the past questions may just be a smokescreen to make up for the huge learning deficit brought about by Covid-19 and the double-track system.
“Look, last year these students in their final year spent only one semester in school so you see that there is a huge learning deficit. Very soon they will be writing the final exams. The time is too short to cover everything and so how do we make up for that learning gap? Buy past questions for the students. Simple,” he opined.
But he fears this system will in the end affect the human resource of the country as “we may be producing half-baked graduates.
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“These students will transit to the University and will not be able to appreciate things very well because we could not spend the needed time to prepare them for tertiary education.”
The Zonal Chairman believes that the problems bedeviling education will not be solved with the purchase of past questions.
“As I talk to you now, do you know that Capitation Grant is in arrears? And this is very critical to the smooth running of the schools because there is no IGF. There are no textbooks from the new curriculum. Teachers were not trained for new curriculum and I believe it was because of money.
“Kids are still learning under trees, some under leaky roof and will have to close once it is cloudy. If all these are not engaging the attention of government then I don’t know the kind of future we want for our kids,” he said.