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New curriculum – Let’s prepare adequately before we start

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BY: Daily Graphic

At a press conference yesterday, the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, announced a new curriculum for basic schools which will invariably impact on the education of pupils from Kindergarten to Primary Six.

In the new syllabus, which takes effect from the 2019/2020 academic year, the subjects to be taught at the KG level have not only been reduced from seven to four but also integrated into themes which are Numeracy, Literacy, Creative Arts and Our World, Our People (citizenship).

The Daily Graphic lauds the bold step taken by the GES to reduce the number of subjects at KG, a move which we believe will enhance learning and enable schoolchildren at that stage to easily assimilate what they are taught.

The step taken by the GES shows that it is ready to embrace new knowledge and move with the changing times.

Worthy of commendation also is the introduction of a standards-based curriculum to enable a proper assessment of pupils as they progress in their education.

That is a move away from what pertains currently, where an assessment is only done through the Basic Education Certificate Examination at JHS Three, by which time it is too late to remedy any challenges with pupils’ academic performance.

The Daily Graphic also applauds the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) of the GES for involving all relevant stakeholders, such as directors of education, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, heads of schools, faith-based organisations and institutions, teacher unions, civil society organisations, teachers and parents, for their acceptance of the new curriculum since 2017.

That, to us, suggests that much has been done by way of the incorporation of contributions from the various stakeholders to make the soon-to-be-implemented new curriculum the best yet for our schoolchildren.

What we ask for, however, is for adequate training to be provided for teachers across the country who will have the duty of interpreting and imparting the new curriculum to the schoolchildren.

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They should also be provided with enough resources, and on time too, to aid the teaching of the various subjects.

The Daily Graphic prays too that when the new curriculum is rolled out, there will be no hiccups in the supply of the syllabus, reference materials, textbooks, as well as in the monitoring and evaluation of the new syllabus.

Parents and other stakeholders in education have, also over the years, complained about the low level of achievement in our public basic schools, which has been attributed to inadequate and ineffective supervision of instruction in the schools.

Our belief is that head teachers, who are the immediate supervisors of teachers, will be put on their toes to deliver on their mandate, so that we will attain the reforms we are seeking for.

It is our hope that the core of 150 master trainers who have been recruited and trained by the NaCCA, who in turn will train 3,900 regional trainers who will also be expected to run curriculum training for clusters of KG and Class Six teachers across the country, are poised for the job ahead, as any mistake on their part will be transferred to other teachers who will be teaching schoolchildren in the basic schools.

Now that the GES has announced the roll out of the new curriculum in September this year, we ask that all knotty issues are dealt with decisively before implementation starts to give the best of education to our children and wards.