Subjects studied in basic schools to be reduced

BY: Emmanuel Bonney
 Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh,Minister of Education
Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh,Minister of Education

The number of subjects studied at the basic educational level in the country are to be reduced from the 2019-2020 academic year, the Ghana Education Service (GES), has said.

Once the number of subjects  is reduced, final-year junior high school (JHS) students who write the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) would be examined only in those subjects.

The Chairman of the Ghana Education Service (GES) Council, Mr Michael Nsowah, who made this known in an interview with the Junior Graphic, noted that the reduction of the subjects would be at the kindergarten, primary and JHS and later extended to the senior high school level.

“The proposal is certain; we are going to reduce the number of subjects, content and everything.

For now, we have not come to the definite numbers but certainly they would be reduced.


With this, the examinable subjects at the BECE would also reduce,” he said.
Currently, BECE candidates write between eight to nine subjects depending on the availability of facilities and teachers.

The subjects are Mathematics, English Language, Integrated Science, Social Studies, Building Design and Technology (BDT), Ghanaian Language, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Religious and Moral Education and French.

The rationale behind the reduction of the subjects, Mr Nsowah said, was the realisation that too many subjects were being studied and examined at the basic educational level.

“Why do we think that children must learn all these subjects before they enter secondary school?

In fact, there are certain knowledge areas which must wait until  children are mature so that they would be able to absorb the technicalities of those knowledge areas better,” he said.

He said there was the need to identify key knowledge areas that were important in the lives of children because when those areas were firmly established, they would be familiar with them as they grew up.

In reducing the subjects, he said some aspects of certain subjects would be consolidated with others.

“I know some people complain that the GES is going to do away with some subject areas.

We are not throwing away anything, we would consolidate some knowledge areas that are relevant and worthwhile,” he explained.

He said the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), which was tasked to carry out a review of the subjects, was currently working hard to execute the task the Ministry of Education had requested them to perform.

“The NCCA has been tasked to review the number of subjects, the content and the structure of the basic school curriculum. It is as a result of this that the proposal to reduce the subjects was made,” he said.