ISSER Report Ghana's quality of education declining

The Director of ISSER, Prof. Felix Asante who presented the outlook of the report, “The State of the Ghanaian Economy Report, 2015” in Accra on Tuesday said the decline in education is due to “increased access not matched by increased funding.”

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The quality of education at all levels of the academic stream declined in 2015, a report published by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), has revealed.

The Director of ISSER, Prof. Felix Asante who presented the outlook of the report, “The State of the Ghanaian Economy Report, 2015” in Accra on Tuesday said the decline in education is due to “increased access not matched by increased funding.”

He said the majority of the pupils sampled in the Early Grade Reading Assessments (EGRA) and Early Grade Mathematics Assessments (EGMA) administered in 2013, were unable to read.

“The EGMA showed that by the end of Primary Two, pupils were doing reasonably well on number identification and addition level one, but they were unable to answer most level one subtraction items correctly,” he said.

READ ALSO: What is wrong with our education system? - Accra residents ask flagbearers

According to him, students’ performance in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), particularly in Mathematics and Science, had been on the decline since 2012 when it peaked.

He said this has contributed to lower enrolment in Science and Mathematics programmes at public universities, citing the National Accreditation Board’s (NAB) figures of 34 per cent to 64 per cent for science-based to humanities-based programmes respectively in public universities at both diploma and undergraduate levels.

Prof Asante argues that “if pupils are provided with the opportunity to study science in rich learning environments, this can boost their interest and confidence in the subject so that they become good problem solvers at an early age.”

On Tertiary education, Prof Asante indicated that “the over-reliance on the government for financing public tertiary education has taken its toll on the quality of infrastructure in most tertiary institutions.”

He believes that government’s reluctance to pass on costs of tertiary education to students in public tertiary institutions is worrying, leading to costs being controlled and such controls not supporting quality.

Prof. Asante, nevertheless, said Ghana’s education sector has witnessed some improvements,  following  an  increased access at all levels as a result of both private and public participation.

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