Our attention has been drawn to information on various social media platforms purported to have come from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ministry of Education, concerning various reforms in Ghana’s Education.
We must say this message first came up about three years ago, and for which NaCCA responded.
Unfortunately, the same messages have popped up.
NaCCA as an agency, mandated to develop curriculum and assessment, takes this opportunity to set the records straight, and to clear these misconceptions.
Firstly, countries are required to provide “Universal primary and secondary education” to all children, according to SDG 4.1. In response to this requirement, Ghana decided that secondary education would be the minimum level of education offered to its citizens. In keeping with this, Senior High Schools (SHS) were added to the definition of “Basic Education.” This does not automatically transform Senior High Schools (SHS) into Basic Schools as is being suggested. The Pre-Tertiary Education Act, 2020 (Act 1049), Section 1 clearly indicates that:
(a) Basic education comprises
(i) two years of Kindergarten;
(ii) six years of primary education; and
(iii) three years of Junior High School
(b) Secondary education comprises
(i) three years of Senior High School; or
(ii) three years of Technical and Vocational Education and Training
It must be emphasized that the curriculum reform started in 2017 with the establishment of a 14-Member Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) chaired by Professor Kwame Osei Kwarteng. The MAC held several meetings, consultations and stakeholder engagements. The MAC completed its work and presented its report and recommendations to the Cabinet in October 2017.
Cabinet approved the recommendations and tasked NaCCA to start the review of the Pre-tertiary Education Curriculum. Based on the recommendations of the MAC, NaCCA started the review using a phase-level approach as recommended by the MAC. Standards-Based Curriculum (SBC) for Primary was completed and rolled out in 2019 while Common Core Programme (CCP) for JHS was completed and rolled out in 2020.
Meanwhile, the development of a Standards-Based Curriculum (SBC) for Senior High School education is in progress. The process has gone through different stages of development: consultations, stakeholder engagements, trialling, quality assurance etc. It will be instructive for stakeholders to engage with NaCCA to really understand the SBC for Senior High School. It is worth noting that SBC for SHS would be rolled out immediately after extensive stakeholder engagement and cabinet approval.
As a sequel to the review and development of the SBC, NaCCA came out with a National Pre-Tertiary Education Curriculum Framework which serves as a guide for the review and revision of the curriculum for our primary, JHS and SHS. NaCCA also developed the National Pre-Tertiary Learning and Assessment Framework (NPLAF). There is no indication of any cancellation of the Basic Education
Certificate Examination (BECE) in the assessment framework as directed by the NPLAF. BECE is a “Placement Exams” used in placing JHS Graduates into SHSs. Hence, there is no reason to abolish it. If anything at all, it will be the mode of examination that may be varied.
The National Standardised Test (NST) replaces the National Education Assessment (NEA) conducted by the erstwhile Curriculum Research and Development Division (CRDD), which is now the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA). The NST is to measure learners’ performance in Literacy and Numeracy and use the outcome for remediation and allocation of resources (material and human). During the test, other key information is collected and this help in decisionmaking in reforming education.
Common Core Programme (CCP) is the brand name for the Standards-Based Curriculum (SBC) model for the JHS. Students in Senior High School (SHS) One
(1) do not take CCP subjects as it is being speculated. The CCP has Nine Learning Areas which have been broken down into 12 Subjects.
In concluding, it is indicative to know that the Ministry of Education is currently rolling out series of reforms. These reforms are meant to improve learning outcomes and enhance accountability and equity at all levels of the education sector. NaCCA is playing an important role in these reforms and is ready to support as far as its mandate allows.
Prof. Edward Appiah