The admission demands of our tertiary institutions : One who passes THREE or more core subjects in addition to 3 electives keeps his hopes alive whilst one who failed TWO or more core subjects may have a gloomy future with regards to entering any tertiary institution of his choice.
Grades that qualify one to be admitted into any tertiary institution is A1-C6. Any thing less (D7-E8) are all classified as “Fail”. Meanwhile, on the certificate, “PASS” is boldly written against it. Or maybe this pass has a different meaning that some of us a not aware of.
The whole problem compounds when students have to compete to enter the limited spaces available in the universities. No wonder students go all miles to make it into their dream schools. A HUGE contributing factor to the OPEN cheating and total disregard for authorities who try to stop students from doing so. We have and watched students went on rampage and vandalized school properties, beat school authorities amongst others during this year’s WASSCE process .
As usual, most Ghanaians were “ostrichally” and hypocritically surprised. Is it a new phenomenon? Are we not always reactive to issues instead of being proactive? Have we ever tried to dig and find the cause of the increasing rate of students continual cheating in exams? We can make guesses but is that enough to base anything on?
Our society celebrates RESULTS without first thinking of the processes that lead to it. A student who gets average pass from his own efforts is not celebrated as compared to the one who fails woefully in thev normal secondary school, enrols in a “REMEDIAL SCHOOL” and within 3-4 months of teaching and learning, comes out with “As” and “Bs”. We don’t seem surprised that one who used 3 years couldn’t chalk this success but has done so in a matter of 3-4 months. What magic formular are the remedial teachers using?
We know and hear of some schools in Brong Ahafo, Eastern and Ashanti regions where grades are negotiable. Yes!! Your school fees determines your grades. We see the “Apor” industry growing on daily basis but chose to pretend. We know people who pay GHC3,000.00- 4,000.00 to be enrolled in these schools knowing vividly that their SUCCESS is guaranteed no matter what.
The cause of this worrisome situation can be traced to our education system and what we chose to focus on(Examination and Grades not Skills and Competencies). For example, when Kofi passes 3 of his CORE subjects along with his ELCTIVE SUBJECTS, but failed just one of his CORE, especially English and maths, he’s unqualified to be in the tertiary. So if Kofi’s failed subject was MATHEMATICS, but Kofi wanted to read humanity courses like Political Science, History, Social Studies and Psychology which has little to do with Maths, he’s still unqualified to be admitted. Sad.
This is not in anyway a push to lower the bar of qualifications but rather adjust the system to meet the needs, interest, talents and positivity rather than dwelling on JUST a single failed subject. Continuous frustration of students who try their best to enrol in our tertiary schools may force them to find WAYS and MEANS to pass a CORE that wouldn’t be so relevant in their field of preferred study. Aren’t we making the system force these students to cheat?
Why should a student be frustrated in the house writing PRIVATE EXAMINATIONS year in, year out? That same student who offered Business, passed all subjects except English has been employed in a rural bank as a teller and is doing just fine on the job but can’t enroll in the University. Is it fair? Do we study “Developmental Imbalances” in our educational psychology course but dump it as usual or we just don’t care about the psychological state of these students who continue to languish at home?
Personally, I know someone who is still sitting at home with A1 in English and good passes in other subjects but “F9” in mathematics. Are we going to let this student go untapped because he didn’t pass MATHS? Sometimes, one is tempted to believe that government controls the PASSES because the tertiary institutions lack adequate infrastructure to absorb the many graduates.
Undoubtedly, the above point is partially true but in this era and age, must everyone sit in front of the lecturer and be spat on when there are many modes of learning options available? For how long are we going to make students with “developmental imbalances” rot and get more frustrated in our society?
After all these, you acquire the Diplomas, Degree And MBAs yet you can’t promise mommy anything. It’s a pity.
God help our country Ghana indeed!