File Photo: Some BECE candidates

Quality of education at the basic school level in the New Juaben South Municipality in the Eastern Region has drastically declined raising concerns among stakeholders.

Analysis of performance of candidates in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) over the last six years shows a worrying trend of consistent abysmal performance particularly among those in public basic schools.

The data shows that no candidate in public basic school in the municipality scored aggregate six (6) during the period under review. Only a handful of candidates presented during the period scored between aggregate seven (7) and fifteen (15).

Majority of the candidates scored between aggregate 25 and 36 with some scoring 40 and above.

“You realized that performance is very low. Basically, their grades range from 6 to 9 in the various subjects,” the municipal Education Director Victor Degraft Etsison said.

The Municipal Director of Education stressed the situation is “quite alarming and needs urgent intervention to address it because New Juaben South is the Eastern Regional capital, this poor academic performance must not happen here “.

He said as part of measures taken to remedy the situation, baseline data on teachers in the municipality has been collected and analyzed.

The data shows that most public basic schools in the Municipality are overstaffed but lack teachers with specialization in Mathematics, English, and Science.

Also, many of the teachers were found to be teaching subjects they have minimum knowledge about.

This has been partly blamed for the poor academic performance of pupils over the years in various subjects.

The exercise was in tandem with a directive issued on March 31, 2021 by the Eastern Regional Director of Ghana Education Service Mrs. Margret Nsiah-Asamoah to all district and municipal directors of Education to conduct certificate audit of all teachers in public basic and senior high schools for realignment of subject teaching.

The realignment has resulted in changing subjects imposed on teachers to teach despite lacking the needed knowledge and skill to teach. In some cases, some of the teachers are being transferred to schools that need their services in the municipality.

This new policy accompanied by enhanced monitoring and supervision by the New Juaben South Municipal Education Directorate has triggered an uproar among some teachers in the municipality.

The agitating teachers have accused the Municipal Director of Education of victimizing and intimidating them.

“The aggrieved teachers expressed disappointment in the director for always touring the schools to fight and insult teachers for nothing. The director is also doing a mass transfer of teachers from mission schools to Islamic schools and vice-versa after suspecting that these teachers have an affiliation with the opposition political parties”.

But speaking to Starr  Mr Degraft Etsison, debunked the allegations saying “there is nothing like victimization and there is nothing like intimidation. Basically, what is being done is that after analyzing results of candidates from 2017 to 2020 in BECE examination, we recognized that most of the teachers were not teaching the subjects they went to the universities to learn. So basically, we have been mandated by the Regional Education Directorate that if you learnt mathematics in University teach mathematics, if you learnt Ghanaian language teach Ghanaian language, that is simply the exercise that we are doing called the realignment of teachers to their various subjects”.

He continued that “At the basic schools, we recognized that somebody who has done Ghanaian language is the one teaching mathematics, someone who has done home economics is the one teaching social studies. It is not helping the students to really perform. That has resulted in moving Teachers from one school to another, and the schools are not even far they are adjacent schools that do not have the requisite subject teachers”.



Source: Ghana/ Kojo Ansah