It appears the disconnection between available time and the amount of content to be covered, which in curriculum refers to the amount to be learned by students (scope), is overwhelmingly vast.
WAEC has no options but to set questions based upon what MoE and GES provides for them to work with as The prescribed curriculum or syllabus. It is clear that schools and teachers are unable to cover the scope of the curriculum to be able to do well on the exit exams. Teachers are placing high demands on kids time to learning characterized by several evening classes, extra classes, Saturday school etc etc.- all in an effort to cover the scope of the curriculum…. and yet still 70% of this year’s candidates failed.
The day when our curriculum planners will be asking themselves the basic curriculum question, “what knowledge is good for Ghanaians” will mark the beginning of an era that resembles that of the colonial and a bit of the post independence education.
THIS IS CERTAINLY NOT THE FAULT OF TEACHERS OR STUDENTS. IT IS GES, MoE AND THEIR CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES.
Curriculum developers need to get back to the basics to ask the fundamental questions:
1. What knowledge is good for Ghanaians- requires identification of “good knowledge and prioritization of such knowledge
2. How much time is available for the prioritized knowledge to be learned
Simple questions to start a curriculum development agenda-
Effects of the disconnection (between time available learning and the scope of the curriculum) are numerous including but limited to:
1. Very poor academic standards- 70% failing rate
2. Poor physical activity levels of children and youth (Ghana scored “D” grade for overall physical activity on the Global Matrix for children and youth- Read More at – http://alwag.org/
3. Poor national development and growth pattern for children and youth sports and adult sports
4. High prevalence of NCDs/CVDs among children and youth in the country- due to inadequate physical activity opportunities in schools and communities. In fact, the School Setting, the Built Environment and Government Strategies and Investments for promoting physical activity received “D” grades on the Global Matrix on Physical Activity for Children and Youth in Ghana.
We may be in for a shock in perhaps 20 years when our senior citizen population will shrink drastically or extinguished if we do not put measures in place to save the children before they “go so soon”- oh what a shock? Gone too soon- are typical of today’s obituaries and funeral announcements.