Performance of students in WASSCE English, falter

The faltering performance of Ghanaian students in the English Language at the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) over the last three years, has become a major headache for the education authorities.

The number of students presented for the examination, who obtained grades “A1”- “C6”, according to the Chief Examiner’s Report, consistently, fell below 60 per cent, during the period.

Dr. Stephen Adu, a Consultant to the Ghana Education Service (GES), told a forum for senior high school (SHS) teachers held in Kumasi, to discuss acceptable teaching modules that the situation gave cause for concern.

He indicated that 53.2 per cent of the candidates scored “A1”-“C-6” pass in the subject in last year’s WASSCE, while that of 2015, stood at 50.3 percent, and for 2014, it was 45.2 per cent.

This was a sharp contrast to the strong performance seen between 2011 and 2013.

There was 75.9 percentage pass by students in the subject in 2011, 66.9 per cent in 2012, and 65.7 percent in 2013.

Dr. Adu, a former GES Deputy Director-General, said poor appreciation of the English language by students, their inability to apply concepts during examination and inadequate coverage of syllabus, were to blame for what was happening.

He also identified poor preparation for the examination and management of schools, which hindered effective monitoring and supervision, as the other contributory factors.

He underlined the need for the GES to strengthen supervision in schools and to do more to aid teachers to find better ways of doing things to achieve the expected outcomes.

Dr. Adu urged teachers to move away from the old teaching methodologies and to be innovative to help their students to pass in the core subjects – English, Mathematics and the Sciences.

This, he said. was necessary amid the high number of students, unable to gain admission into the tertiary institutions.

About 40 per cent students, who write the WASSCE fail to make it to institutions of higher learning as they tend to trail in the core subjects.

Source: Ghana News Agency