If our students had optimum conditions, they would have scored better grades - Dr. Apaak jabs Bawumia
A Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament Dr. Clement Apaak has taken a swipe at Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia over the latter’s celebration of Ghana’s performance at the West African Senior High School Certificate Examination.
The legislator who represents the people of Builsa South says Ghana could have performed better and scored better grades if we had effective structures.
Ghana’s Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has said even though 70 percent of the students that sat the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) were Nigerians, Ghanaians students got more 8As than their Nigerian counterparts.
The second gentleman of the land speaking at the closing session of the National Chief Imam’s annual Ramadan lectures (Tafsir) in Accra, said the government’s commitment to promoting quality education contributed to this.
“When the Akufo-Addo government introduced the Free SHS policy, some people opposed it and said quality education would be compromised”, he re-echoed.
“But the 2020 West Africa Senior High School Examination shows that if anything, the free senior high school has improved the quality of education in Ghana.”
“The WAEC with countries like Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Nigeria, Ghana; the results show that of the total number of students who took the exam, there was a total number of 465 who got A in all their 8 subjects”.
“Of the 465 in all these countries, 411 came from Ghana,” he said.
Dr. Bawumia noted that “the other 54 came from Nigeria but Nigerian students were 70% of all the students who took the exams but Ghana got 411 8As and they [Nigeria] got 54 8As.”
“That tells you the quality that we have produced. We should not underestimate what we are capable of and we should not underestimate what we are capable of.”
“Free SHS is helping our students and of course helping our parents as well because they don’t have to pay.”
But reacting, Dr. Apaak stated that if our students had optimum conditions, and with the past questions and examiners’ reports at their disposal, they would have had 1000 ‘8As’.
He said “Sorry Veep, but we clearly can’t be proud of this by comparing ourselves”.
He further posited that if not for the double-track our students would have done better than they did, with the passco and examiners’ reports.
Dr. Clement Apaak in 2019 suggested that government’s decision to purchase questions and answer booklets from the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) for students was out of fear the first batch of the Free SHS policy will fail their exams.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) in that year procured four hundred thousand (400,000) sets of questions and answer booklets from the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) for distribution to the first batch of beneficiaries of the Free Senior High School policy preparing to write their final examination.
He said the move was inimical to the growth of students and the academic environment.
“We are talking about a government agency going to WAEC to buy 400,000 questions to supply to students who are beneficiaries of our Free SHS policy as an intervention. And which institution is supposed to set the question and if government by virtue of its might can afford to procure 400,000 questions the likelihood that this is going to affect the conduct as far as the exam is concerned cannot be dismissed. Because the government is not doing this for no reason, the intent is to ensure that as many students as possible will pass.”
“What they are doing will rather cause a problem for the student. It appears because things have not been properly done with the implementation of the Free SHS policy, the government fears that most of the students may not pass the WASSCE so they are going the extra mile to work with WAEC to ensure they pass the exams. So if they get to the university level, will the government again buy exams papers for them to learn and write their exams”, he said at the time.