2018 WASSCE results are not bad – Dr Prince Armah

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The Founder of the Institute of Education Studies Dr Prince Armah has described as “unnecessary apprehension” assertions of mass failure in the 2018 WASSCE results.

The Educationist who is also a lecturer at the University of Education Winneba said a complete “misdirection of the national discourse” has led people into believing that the results as released by the West Africa Examination Council in 2018 are poor.

His comments come at a time when over 190,000 SHS graduates cannot make it to the university in 2018 because they flunked the mathematics exams.

Per the results released by WAEC Ghana the number of candidates who obtained grades A1 to C6 in the three core subjects are as follows; Mathematics – 120,519, representing 38.33%; English Language – 147,232, representing 46.79%; and Integrated Science – 158,691, a score of 50.52%.

However, the number of candidates who failed to obtain grades A1 to C6 in the three core subjects are as follows: Integrated Science – 155,436, representing 49.48%; Mathematics – 193,882, which represents 61.67%; and English Language – 167,404, which also represents 53.21%.

Some have described the figures as poor with others attributing it to the free SHS programme being implemented by the Akufo-Addo led government.

But speaking to Myjoyonline.com, Dr Prince Armah said any attempt to link the free SHS programme to the 2018 results is “untenable.”

He argued the 2017 students who began the free SHS programme are yet to take their exams and it would be inaccurate for anyone to attribute the 2018 performance to the implementation of the free SHS programme.

nalysis, the WASSCE results have seen a significant leap in performance from 2008 to 2018.

Relying on 2008 figures from WAEC to 2018, Dr Armah said the figures are impressive.

“In 2008, the number of students who wrote WASSCE was 131,268. Out of this number that sat for the exams, 17,121 representing 13.04% qualified for the university. Ten years down the line out of the 315,621 who sat the exams, 121,519 representing 38.38% have qualified for the university. In other words within the last ten years we have seen a huge improvement of 25.29 percentage points in WASSCE results. That cannot be a gloomy outcome. It’s a positive outcome. I am still crunching data to see across the world how many countries can have percentage jump similar to WASSCE.

He added a complete misunderstanding of Senior High School education and what WASSCE is meant to do have created a wrong impression that the recent WASSCE results are bad.

Purpose for WASSCE

According to Dr. Prince Armah the policy document guiding education in Ghana state clearly three purposes for Senior High school education and the WASSCE.

He said High school and WASSCE must be the exit point for people to enter the world of work.

If you finish secondary school, you should go to the police, army, be a fuel attendant, work as a bank cashier etc…”

Secondly, it should be the entry point for people to acquire technical and vocational training. “Go and do something with your hand,” he added.

The third and final purpose is for university education.

“Over the years we have undermined the technical and vocational aspect and then the world of work with university and HND graduates fighting with SHS graduates on jobs that are meant for SHS graduates,”

“It is our misdirected national focus that is creating this unnecessary apprehension that 61% couldn’t get the qualifying grade into university,”

Rather than wail over the 2018 results, Dr Armah said what the figures mean is that over 38% of students can acquire university education, the remaining can and should be encouraged to move into the world of work as well as technical and vocational education.

Dr Armah said the country should rather be worried about the increasing trend of inequity the WASSCE results seem to be churning out every year.

“If you look at the results that come and if we were to go beyond the data, you will find out that people from privileged backgrounds are the ones who managed to get access and qualifying into the university.

In 2014, he said a research conducted showed that the 46% students that got admission into the university came from only 20 top schools in Ghana.

What it means is that pupils from underprivileged schools and areas in Ghana are not performing well in the exams.

He would rather government turns its attention to the disparity and inequity and find a lasting solution to that problem.  

He applauded the policy to have at least 30% of SHS applicants from the catchment areas so that students in Central Region, Greater Accra, Ashanti Regions can also have access to the Mfantsipims, Presecs, Prempehs.


ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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An Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A Senior Journalist with Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow (YALI) who studied at Clark Atlanta University on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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