Opinion: Grade A schools – Reasonably valid points raised by Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum!

Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum,
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Reasonably valid points raised by the Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum!

The unfortunate harsh truth is that “Where you were born”, “who you were born to”, and when you were born” are among the most significant predictors of where you will end up in life. Your opportunities in life emanate from one single event that you had no control over!

Having access to a category A school is dependent on where you started (most likely an international/private school). Occasionally a rare event happens, and someone unexpected gets that rare opportunity. We should increase the likelihood of students not being fortunate to attend private primary and junior high schools to access category A schools.

The probability of someone from the primary and junior high school I attended having the opportunity to enrol in a category A school like Prempeh/Owass/Presec/ is virtually zero. The inequality at that level may end up shaping who you become.

The grade I had in my B.E.C.E was commensurate with the school I attended and the learning environment I experienced. Though I topped my district, my grade could not take me through the doors of T.I Amass, not to even dream of Presec and the likes. I settled for a school that would be classified as category C in those days. ( I am proud Adehye3! Dwamena Akenten Old Student Association, DAOSA). You can google it if you haven’t heard it before…😛

I excelled in the WASSCE because of the incredible support I had from my brothers ( each taking turns in teaching me Elective maths Shabados Khalifa Banda Chemistry Saeed Abdallah and English Hon Alhaj Ben Abdallah Banda anytime I come for vacation) Several other students were equally good but didn’t have that support I had. I was lucky that University of Ghana, Legon still had biological sciences as a pre-requisite to medical school (now canceled 😞- bad news for students from category B/C schools). The inequalities in the system failed a majority of my SHS mates/seniors who were really good and could have excelled given the right stimulating environment.

My story is a very long one!! A chemistry professor at the University of Ghana assumed that because I got almost a perfect score in his I.A, I must be from either OWASS OR PREMPEH because I said my school was in Ashanti region. When I mentioned my school, he asked where is that? ☹️. As though he didn’t expect me to be there. The rest of my academic journey seems even more impossible when I look back at the environment I started from.

I know a few people with stories like mine. Shout out for beating the odds.

So yes, I agree with the hon minister to some extent. Category A schools should give average students from less endowed schools the playing field to showcase their potential. Only then can they claim be the best!

The metric for assessing category A schools should be based on their average conversion rate (how many admitted JHS students with double digit aggregates were successfully converted to single digit aggregate in the WASSCE) and not by how many 8As they get.

Banda Khalifa MD, MPH, MBA

Education Minister Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has said Grade A Senior High Schools including Presbyterian Boys Secondary School (PRESEC Legon) and Wesley Girls’ Senior High School in Cape Coast must be willing to accept students with aggregate 20 or 25 and make them first class students.

He said the Grade A schools are best to handle students with such aggregates because they have the best teachers to deliver the work.

Speaking at the University of Cape Coast on Friday April 22, the Bosomtwe lawmaker said “Teachers are complaining that students with aggregate 20 are being accepted.

“I had a wonderful conversation with someone who is very high up, he called me one day and asked, why are you sending students with aggregate 22 to PRESEC?

“I said Sir, I think PRESEC has one of the best group of teachers in this country. And he said, it is true, PRESEC is his school and that they are examiners and very good. I said, so they are the ones who are good to teach students with aggregate 25.

“The idea that students with aggregate 25 should not go to PRESEC baffles my mind. They are the ones who belong to Wesley Girls where we have talented teachers.

“So, if Wesley Girls wants to prove to me that they are the best, they need to take these students with aggregate 20 and turn them around so that they can tell us that they are better than [other schools].

“My story is the story of education and transformation and so is the story of a number of you, so we can’t look back and turn back on the poor. Once upon a time we were like them.”

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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