General News of Mon, 18 Sep 20171

Scrap BECE to give true meaning to free SHS - Young Cadres

A group calling itself, Young Cadres Association (YCA) has called on the ruling New Patrick Party (NPP) government to as matter of urgency scrap the BECE system done by the students at the Junior High Schools in Ghana.

In a press statement issued in Accra on September 16, 2017 and copied to the media stated that the BECE system has been the biggest stumbling block for most students who dream of progressing on the educational ladder and it would be a very important move to remove the impediment.

"Among other things, this removal will provide the opportunity for a large percentage of the country's young population to be educated as it would create a seamless transition from the JHS level to without any burden of examination."

The group commended President Akufo-Addo for the implementation of its campaign promise for students to enjoy free SHS education but made it clear that majority of Ghanaian students don't get chance to enter into secondary schools in the country because of the BECE system.

"It is estimated that around 40% of graduates from the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) fail to make it to the SHS level because they do not obtain the right grades. This is a big blot on the conscience of the state and it defeats any efforts and raising educational standards in the nation."

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The group was on the view that the free SHS education program was started by former President John Mahama led NDC Administration and commended the former President for the implementation.

"We also do reckon that, the roll-out of this policy is birthed in the sound fundamental framework developed and implemented by the John Mahama government, which among other things, begun with the implementation of a Progressively' Free Senior High School' policy."

The group also joined the earlier call made by some civil society groups, political parties and influential personalities calling on the government to scrap the BECE.

Below is the full statement:

Scrap BECE to Give True Meaning to Free SHS – Young Cadres

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President Akufo-Addo in fulfilment of one of his major campaign promises recently launched the ‘Free Senior High School (SHS)’ policy to make secondary education free and accessible to all who qualify. This is, without doubt, an ambitious move that is bound to raise educational standards in Ghana and improve the country’s human development index. Indeed, this is a political decision that must be commended by all well-meaning Ghanaians and we, the Young Cadres of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) would like to thank His Excellency for keeping this promise.

We also do reckon that, the roll-out of this policy is birthed in the sound fundamental framework developed and implemented by the John Mahama government, which among other things, begun with the implementation of a ‘Progressively Free Senior High School' policy. As a country in the burgeoning stages of its development, it is important that every elected government contributes in formulating and rolling out policies that will fast track the development process and help the country reach the utopia it dreams of.

Whereas we all do commend the President for embarking on this noble course, it is instructive to note that a large percentage of the country’s young workforce still do not get the chance to enter into the Senior High School system from the basic level. It is estimated that around 40% of graduates from the Basic Education Certificate Exams (BECE) fail to make it to the SHS level because they do not obtain the right grades. This is a big blot on the conscience of the state and it defeats any efforts and raising educational standards in the nation.

It is against this backdrop that we would want to add our voice to the numerous calls being made on government to consider scrapping the BECE if it really wants to make education free. We see the BECE as a hindrance to achieving a truly free education in Ghana. It is an open secret that the fundamental idea behind President Akufo Addo’s decision to make Senior High School education free is to build the human capital base of the country. If this is a fact, then there is really no need in restricting any child who aspires to acquire education in this country. BECE has been the biggest stumbling block for most students who dream of progressing on the educational ladder and it would be a very important move to remove this impediment. Among other things, this removal will provide the opportunity for a large percentage of the country’s young population to be educated as it would create a seamless transition from the JHS level into the SHS level without any burden of examination.

Already, influential institutions and personalities like Patrick Awuah of Ashesi University fame, Nana Bonsra Afriyie II, the Chief of Fomena in the Adansi North District of the Ashanti region, Dr Prince Armah, Executive Director of the Institute for Education Studies (formerly VIAM Africa), and the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), among others, have all called for the scrapping of the BECE. We believe all these people and entities want the good of this country, just as the President and his government.

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Although rolling out ‘Free SHS’ is a good move, Mr. President, it is only after removing the ‘dream-killer’ BECE would you be seen to have given a real meaning to Free SHS.

...Signed...

Michael Dery

President

Young Cadres Association

Bright Botchway

General Secretary

Young Cadres Association

Mubarak Watara

PRO YCA

Source: Daniel Kaku

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