According to the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), Dr Prince Armah, The current Curriculum being run by the Ghana education service has done more harm than good.
He alludes to the fact that the same curriculum that developed a good number of Ghanaian citizens over the decades also cut off an even greater number of citizens, prematurely determined their fate and left them with little or no hope.
Dr. Armah made these comments when he spoke to journalists in Accra about the soon to be introduced Common Core Programme which is the second phase of the ongoing educational reform in the country.
Likening the implementation of the current curriculum to “driving a Bedford” in the 21st Century Dr Armah said it is time for the country to adopt a curriculum “that will be responsive to the needs of the 21st century.”
The current curriculum is based on the 1950 model of learning with emphasis on repetitive learning, drill and practice,” he said, but stated, in today’s technologically advanced world, the current generation of kids are no longer the same as those of the 1950s.
Providing a gloomy picture about the performance of students at all levels under the current curriculum, Dr Prince Armah said the national and international assessment of students at all levels give a huge source of worry.
He said the Early Grade Reading Assessment at Primary two has suggested that a whopping 98% of kids can read but cannot understand. This means only two per cent can read and understand.
“At P4 and P6 the National Education Assessment (NEA) conducted by NaCCA and other organizations in Mathematics and English, shows that less than 25% can demonstrate proficiency in Mathematics for instance.
Speaking on Ghana’s performance in Trends International Science and Maths Study (TIMSS), he stressed that “In all these studies, our children perform better on questions relating to the recall of facts and figures but perform poorly on questions emphasizing reasoning, problem-solving and application of knowledge in everyday contexts”
“We need a curriculum that will be responsive to the needs of the 21st century. We are no longer looking for graduates who will write and pass but graduates who are team players, problem solvers, critical thinkers, innovative and can communicate effectively to help solve many of our national problems,” he said.
He said the government has therefore decided to reform the country’s curriculum from KG to SHS which is now the new definition of basic school within the context of the free SHS programme.
“We are not looking at the teachers setting objectives and they trying to achieve their own objectives. But we rather setting standards that we want the children, not the teacher to be able to know and demonstrate.”
“That curriculum is anchored on activity learning, problem-solving and investigations to develop curious minds with critical thinking skills,” he added.