2020 BECE must have admission cut off point or aggregate for admission into Senior High Schools.
This has become necessary if we are to focus on the quality of students who graduate from our secondary schools and on whom the taxpayers’ money is spent through the Free SHS policy of the government.
Today, the mention of a cut-off point for admission into Free SHS makes many BECE candidates jittery because most of them are not challenged to take their lessons more serious. They know there is a high possibility of gaining admission even if they do not perform well. This means we do not have a quality standard in place for admission into SHS in Ghana today.
The 2020 BECE to be written in June this year demands a cut-off point for students to compel them to adequately prepare and be dedicated to their studies and eventually make good grades.
The truth is that there are students in SHS who have become a liability for the state even before they complete their secondary education. The government is spending on them yet they are not taking their studies serious. Such students are not aware of the reasons why they are in the SHS neither are they serious with their books.
The wholesale admission systems today into SHS is not helping this nation. The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has added its voice to this urgent call for the restoration of the cut-off grading system previously used for admission into Senior High Schools (SHS).
Let us stop dumping “poor-grade students’ in schools, particularly deprived schools and rather use the funds for sponsoring such students to improve the facilities in such schools.
The fact that the SHS is free even demands some cut off point to ensure our hard-earned resources as a country are spent on students who show glimpses of readiness to learn.
As it stands now, there are many students in SHS with very poor grades. We do not want the MoE and the minister to complain that students are gaining admission into colleges of education with worse grades. Such blames will be laid squarely at the doorsteps of GES and MoE and not the students if we continue to practice the current system. Around the world, scholarships are awarded to brilliant students, not “dump” ones.
The fact that there is no challenging cut off point has made students very lazy. Grades that never gave people the opportunity to be in school in the past ranging from grades 35 – 48 are now found in SHS.
Imagine a cut off point of aggregate 25 for SHS. Many students will sit up to learn because they are preconditioned that if they don’t make the grade, they cannot enjoy the free SHS.
A cut off point will bring some level of seriousness, commitment, and zeal to excel into even teachers and schools. We can begin to improve our quality assurance and best practices within the education sector when it comes to students obtaining admission into SHS.
A cut off point will ensure those who are good to pursue the academic ladder are given the needed push whiles we also identify students who want to pursue vocational training help them in that direction.
Today, it may look attractive to be in the SHS with very bad grades but many such students are only delaying their vocational training.
It is a good thing to want to provide secondary education to as many Ghanaians as possible however, those who benefit must be students who have the prospect.
The wholesale Free SHS can be said to be causing financial loss to the state as the government invests in students who spend time messing up on social media rather than burning their midnight oil.
All around the world, all things held constant, serious students spend more time with their books in secondary school, they know why they are in school and their progress reports tell it all than the not too serious ones on social media engaging in immoral acts, acts of indiscipline and a waste of time.
We should foresee an educated elite or society that does not know anything in the not distant future as we turn the SHS into a flood gate system and a free for all avenue for the benefit of the politician.
Improving the literacy rate of a nation does not necessarily mean every bad grade student should be in SHS. How many individuals would invest in business ventures that are not working and profitable?
Bring back the cut-off point, maintain the Free SHS policy, quality of students admitted will increase, candidates will take their education more serious.
Another thing we can do as a nation is to ensure, only students who obtain a certain grade after each semester exams at the SHS continue to enjoy the Free SHS.
Free must not mean wasting resources, we must get value for money. Let us go back to the cut off point. It is time for SANKOFA.
Source: Wisdom Hammond | NewsGhana24