General News of 2014-08-27

Ablakwa blasts Akufo-Addo over education claim

Nana Akufo-Addo has bemoaned the growing crisis that has hit Ghana's educational sector under the ruling National Democratic Congress government since assuming the reins of office in 2009, citing the 2014 results of the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Education (WASSCE) as a case in point.
According to him, "7 out of the 10 children have failed the WASSCE and cannot get access to tertiary institutions. What this means is that after taken them through kindergarten, primary school, junior high and senior high, these kids end up with no certificate,"
But the Deputy Minister for Education in-charge of tertiary, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has scoffed at his assessment arguing that it is an unjustifiable way launching an indirect attack on President Mahama’s administration.
He churned out facts to support his argument and observed that from the FACTS, it cannot be true that President Mahama's era has recorded the worst WASSCE performance.
He claims that educational matters must be taken serious and must not to be limited to partisan lines. He tasked Nana Akufo Addo to seek facts and scientific inquiries before touching on issues which has to do with WASSCE statistics.
Below is a copy of an unedited piece Hon. Ablakwa produced on his facebook wall
The interest the release of the 2014 WASSCE results has witnessed must be welcomed by all. Education must be everybody's business and we at the Ministry of Education cherish such great deal of interest.
What I believe to be unfortunate is the attempt to use the 2014 WASSCE results to launch unjustified attacks on President Mahama and his administration amidst claims that this year's result shows a decline from President Kufuor's era as Nana Akufo Addo tried to portray in the Volta Region yesterday.
Here are the facts from WAEC (FACTS not my OPINION) on the percentage of students who obtained A1 to C6 in 6 subjects (3 Electives and 3 Core Subjects) which is the National Accreditation Board's minimum entry requirements to progress to the tertiary level.
2006 - 12.51%
2007 - 10.58%
2008 - 12.95%
2009 - 14.58%
2010 - No examinations due to four year change.
2011 - 26.00%
2012 - 31.19%
2013 - 19.15%
2014 - 28.10%
As can be observed from the FACTS it cannot be true that President Mahama's era has recorded the worst WASSCE performance. Because of Nana Akufo Addo's attacks - I reluctantly wish to observe that since WASSCE was introduced in 2006, the 2007 performance of 10.58% has been Ghana's worst performance. Indeed the NDC's worst performance of 19.15% is still better than the NPP's best performance of 12.95%. It is to be noted additionally that the best performance ever of 31.19% in 2012 occurred under the NDC.
I ascribe to the view that Education is too serious a matter to be subjected to NPP-NDC partisanship which is not premised on facts and scientific inquiries.
Though the NDC era has recorded the best WASSCE performance, we hold the view that it could be better and that is why my boss Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang is leading us at the Ministry of Education to implement a number of interventions including reducing teacher absenteeism from 27% in 2012 to 11% in 2013, organizing special Mathematics Camps for Mathematics teachers (the data shows passing Core Mathematics is the greatest headache for students at that level), the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) being supported by the World Bank with 156 million dollars to help improve quality at that level amongst others.
It is also important to state that it is not accurate to conclude that the door has been shut to the remaining 72% of SHS students. There are access programmes which we have permitted some tertiary institutions to run to enable students who had D7 and E8 have access to tertiary education.
President Mahama and his team and most importantly the good people of Ghana still believe in quality education and we shall continue to work hard and around the clock to improve on the quality of education at all levels.
God bless our beloved nation.
Source: peacefmonline.com
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