Nursery and KG Education is key to Improving Basic Education Standards in Ghana – Isaac Ofori

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EducationGhana| March 20| Nursery and KG Education is key to Improving Basic Education Standards in Ghana:

The chairman of the All Teachers Alliance Ghana (ATAG) and a Master of Philosophy Student of the University of Education, Winneba, Isaac Ofori has indicated that Nursery and KG Education is key to Improving Basic Education Standards in Ghana.

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NURSERY AND KG LEVELS OF EDUCATION ARE KEY TO IMPROVING THE STANDARDS OF BASIC EDUCATION IN GHANA

The Ghana educational system is having concentric challenges that in due time could translate into further falls in the already falling standards.

Aside from infrastructure challenges, lack of teaching and learning materials, understaffing and teachers refusing to post to rural communities and poor staff remuneration, the fundamental challenge has been with the lower levels of education (Nursery and KG).

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I embrace all reforms that had been brought forth by NaCCA and the Ministry of Education. The most outstanding is STEM in which the minister aims at producing more technical individuals with science and technology backgrounds.

It’s also refreshing to have a curriculum that’s meant to suffice current trends and to meet the world’s standards.

In as much that I embrace these reforms, it is important to note that if the lower levels of education are left unattended to, we will continue to get many things wrong especially with our basic education system.

I want the Minister to understand that the majority of the students who show promising talents in science and technology are not from public basic schools. Private basic school students dominate our public SHS enrollment, especially in the best schools, at the expense of the public basic school students. A clear picture of falling standards in the public basic schools.

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The truth is that Private Schools in Ghana have prioritised lower levels of education and that is what’s fueling their academic excellence.

From playgroup to toddler class through to Nursery and KG, they ensure that pupils at the age of six (6) can at least read simple sentences and write simple words and at the same speak basic English and work out basic arithmetic.

This forms the basis for their academic growth and over the years it has proven to be a potent force. No wonder many basic school teachers have their children in private schools; a paradox that will take years to crack.

Many public basic schools hardly run the Nursery and KG system and even if it’s available, the infrastructure and the resources, as well as the teaching materials, are woefully inadequate. I got the opportunity to visit a village basic school and the KG education is a mess. The children are scattered, unkempt and famishing. This is because they had only one attendant and she could hardly control the crawling, hurly-burly class

.

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The worrying and shocking aspect of it is that the facilitator is an SHS graduate who has been hired by the community to facilitate teaching and learning at that level.

This gloomy picture might not be limited to that community alone, it permeates many other communities and even towns.

It is interesting to know that children are admitted to the public basic schools without having passed through at least the KG system.

It’s in the basic one that teachers struggle to let them assimilate writing and reading as well as the speaking of basic English let alone working basic arithmetic.

This herculean task greets many Basic 1- 3 teachers making primary education very unproductive thereby affecting JHS education in the country.

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The Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education could take steps to develop the Nursery and the KG systems and furnish them and make them work better for the basic schools.

In this regard, the weak fundamentals that haunt many basic schools could be nib in the bud.

Government can also give the Nursery and KG education to private individuals to establish and manage in every school under a subsidiary program if it is not ready to prioritize the same.

The efficiency and the effectiveness of this program could be piloted in some selected schools across the country and eventually roll out nationwide.

Government must remember that education is a progressive event and if we close our eyes on the fundamentals, it could have consequences on future outcomes and the kind of skilled human resources the country could produce.

Isaac Ofori
MPhil Student
UEW

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