The Director of Child Rights International, Bright Appiah has urged the government particularly the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to consider using continuous Assessment to award certificates to 2020 BECE and WASSCE candidates. This is due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which has led to the suspension of both the BECE and WASSCE 2020 examinations. And the deliberations on other options of awarding the BECE and WASSCE certificates are being considered.
The lockdown enforced due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted over 3 million students to be at home as a school break amid the pandemic. This has disrupted the academic calendar of the country’s educational system and has almost made it impossible for students to have contact hours which contribute to the award of certificate in all academic stages, including the BECE and WASCE.
Commenting on the need for the government to consider using continuous Assessment to award certificates he said countries like France and the USA have taken steps in rectifying this issue by waiving examinations altogether and implementing new protocols to ensure the academic year flows seamlessly whenever it is reinstated.
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An Example From Other Nations
In France the international Baccalaureate (IB) , in a statement released, said diplomas or certificates would be awarded to students based on calculations that would put a priority on their coursework marks and predicted grades.
Also In the USA, President Donald Trump has announced that standardized tests would not be required this academic year for elementary and high school.
An Option To Consider
Options being considered by stakeholders and those within the education sector is “in awarding our final year students certificate for further education, how is Ghana preparing itself to use innovation to achieve that goal? Online learning platforms had been launched and complemented with Virtual learning on television, however these can still not lead to the award of BECE and WASSCE certificates .
In this situation, The Director of Child Rights International, Bright Appiah believes that using continuous assessment as an alternative for grading students for certification will be most normal and appropriate thing to do.
He disclosed that in Ghana the continuous assessment mark for Junior and Senior High Schools is 40% and 30% respectively and so in order to augment the lack of examinable grades, students could be graded based on their continuous assessment and other indicators such as student contributions in class, homework and predicted grades.
Based on this, marks can be awarded for students to signify their completion of Junior High School and Senior High. On the other hand, the time that students have missed during this period could be included in the third school term which will determine if a student is promoted or not.
He said the additional time will allow teachers and students alike to cover educational content missed out on this term.
Child Rights International is therefore making two strong recommendations.
- Continuous assessment should be used as an alternative to grade students in the absence of written examinations.
- The process of grading students this term can be scraped completely to pave way for the adoption of a new system of rewarding marks to students
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