Nana Oboedum V, National President of the Conference of Heads of Private Second Cycle Schools (CHOPSS), on Thursday asserted that a four-year secondary school education would serve the nation better than the three-year duration.
Speaking with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during CHOPSS Third National Conference in Ho, Nana Oboedum V said he was stoking the debate because it had become obvious that products of a three-year secondary school had less holistic educational opportunities.
“We are on the ground and we know what is happening, four years of secondary education should be better in our current circumstances,” he stated.
Nana Oboedum said the three-year duration secondary education was in fact two-and-half years, since many first years reported to school in the second term.
Additionally, he said, the study periods were crammed into the shorter span of time necessitating the elimination of other activities such as sports for the school calendar in order to make up for time.
Nana Oboedum said four years should “enable students cope with problematic core subjects like English Language, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Social Studies and ICT, which are taught at the first year before elective subjects are added in the second year”.
The Four-Day CHOPSS Conference would take stock of teaching and learning in schools, appoint regional executives and strengthen partnership with the Ghana Education Service (GES).
Nana Oboedum commended the 200 private second cycle schools across the country with 75,000 enrolment for making a mark in education.
Nana Oboedum said even though it was the private second cycle schools that mopped up Junior High School leavers with low aggregate for secondary education, “we are able to teach most of them with our limited resources to compete with their counterparts in the endowed public schools to gain admission into tertiary and other high institutions”.
He said CHOPSS would endeavour to motivate its teachers to “do effective teaching during class hours than extra classes which some of the teachers are more interested in because of economic gains”.
Nana Oboedum urged government to extend Cocoa Board Scholarships to students of the private schools.
Mr Gabriel Kploanyi, Regional Director of Education in a speech read for him said the GES would include teachers and managers of private schools in its capacity building workshops.
Madam Esther Happy Edjeani, Deputy Director of Education in charge of Private Schools, lauded the private schools for supporting the public sector which was often battered by inadequate budgetary allocations, in the delivery of education.
“When government has found the going tough, satisfying competing budgetary demands from the national coffers by other sectors of the economy, private schools are there to help”, she stated.
She observed that education should “result in the formation of well-balanced individuals with the requisite knowledge, skills, values, aptitudes and attitudes to become functional and productive citizens”.
Madam Edjeani therefore called on the private sector to collaborate and participate in the educational reforms currently going on.
She said private schools could be pace setters in building well-managed educational entities and called on the sector to mobilize parents and other stakeholders in school governance.
In a solidarity messages, Mr Innocent Kwame Bedi, representing the Catholic Educational Unit, called on the private schools to tackle the issues of indiscipline and rising school fees.
Mr Linus Attey, Volta Regional Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), observed that the educational system appeared to be putting too much stress on passing examination, leaving many educated people stranded, with no clues about occupational skills.