The worst performance by West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) candidates since 2006 has occured under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, says Deputy Education Minister in charge of tertiary education.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa says recent comments by NPP flagbearer aspirant Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo which seek to suggest that this yearâ€™s WASSCE results is a decline from previous yearsâ€™ is an â€œunfortunate attempt to launch unjustified attacks on President John Mahama.”
Although a startling 72% of candidates failed to make the grades for admission into tertiary institution, Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa posted on his Facebook wall that the figure is an improvement.
â€Since WASSCE was introduced in 2006, the 2007 performance of 10.58% has been Ghana’s worst performance. Indeed the NDC’s worst performance of 19.15% is still better than the NPP’s best performance of 12.95%. It is to be noted additionally that the best performance ever of 31.19% in 2012 occurred under the NDCâ€, Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa posted on his Facebook wall.
Akufo-Addo gad said — during a campaign tour of the Volta Region — that the 2014 WASSCE results are a sharp decline from what were recorded under the leadership of President John Agyekum Kufuor.
According to him, although President Mahama had promised to ensure quality education as part of his campaign messages in 2012 he (President Mahama) has failed to live up to expectation.
â€œIs this what he [President Mahama] means by quality education?â€ Nana Addo asked.
However, Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa maintains Nana Akufo-Addo claims have not informed by facts and figures.
â€œHere are the facts from WAEC (FACTS not my OPINION) on the percentage of students who obtained A1 to C6 in 6 subjects (3 Electives and 3 Core Subjects) which is the National Accreditation Board’s minimum entry requirements to progress to the tertiary level:
2006 – 12.51%
2007 – 10.58%
2008 – 12.95%
2009 – 14.58%
2010 – No examinations due to four year change.
2011 – 26.00%
2012 – 31.19%
2013 – 19.15%
2014 – 28.10%
â€œAs can be observed from the FACTS it cannot be true that President Mahama’s era has recorded the worst WASSCE performanceâ€, Okudzeto Ablakwa revealed.
Okudzeto Ablakwa, who was unenthused by Akufo-Addo’s claims noted: “Education is too serious a matter to be subjected to NPP-NDC partisanship which is not premised on facts and scientific inquiries. Though the NDC era has recorded the best WASSCE performance, we hold the view that it could be better and that is why my boss Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang is leading us at the Ministry of Education to implement a number of interventions including reducing teacher absenteeism from 27% in 2012 to 11% in 2013, organizing special Mathematics Camps for Mathematics teachers (the data shows passing Core Mathematics is the greatest headache for students at that level), the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) being supported by the World Bank with 156 million dollars to help improve quality at that level amongst others.”
Meanwhile, a senior lecturer at the Department of Linguistics at the University of Ghana, Kofi Agyekum has said over exposure and addiction to social media is the cause of the abysmal performance of candidates who sat for the 2014 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination.