Reduce JHS subjects to curb BECE leaks – Educationist

An Educationist and Lead Consultant of Neogenics Education, Grant Bulmuo, is calling for the reduction in the number of subjects students study at the basic school level.

He argued that the rising cases of examination malpractices could be attributed to stress as a result of the high number of subjects students are made to study.

Widespread leakages in the 2015 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) led to the cancellation of five papers.

Prior to that, there had been several leakages particularly at the BECE level, and a few at the secondary level.

According to Grant Bulmuo, the number of subjects students they have to study before writing the exams put undue pressure on them.

“Let’s reduce the number of subjects assessed at the basic level. For the sake of argument, a 13 to 15 year old child is required to master an average of 9 to 10 subjects which is also subdivided most of the times into three papers; paper one, paper two and in some cases multiple choices. For me this is ridiculous. So much pressure on a child who is supposed to enjoy schooling and enjoy education, this expectation is beyond their ability to cope with at that level.”

He observed that in rural communities, the situation is even worse because some of the students lack qualified teachers.

The educationist also proposed that the subjects should be reduced to “Maths, English and Science and then allow the teachers to have time to give learners a wide range of experience through the foundation subjects before they move to SHS [Senior High School].”

WAEC must be empowered

He also called for the empowerment of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), to enable the council to punish persons involved in malpractices.

“Probably we should give more judicial power to WAEC so that they can administer some bit of judgment when it comes to arresting somebody and make decisions. So that will be one of the ways to deter people from cashing in with all these leakages. We should also embrace a system where there is not only one set of examination questions but different types of questions for one particular subject. So if you get a leakage you should not be able to predict whether that particular question is coming or not because you wouldn’t know which type of questions you are going to meet. Children are being forced to get good grades, how can we support children to value learning rather than examination marks.”

By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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