–as several inefficiencies befall Common Core Programme pre-implementation
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) operating in the country’s education sector have expressed major concerns about several inefficiencies observed in preparations toward implementation of the Common Core Programme (CCP), a new curriculum, for basic school education in the country.
According to the CSOs, if care is not taken with the review, management and implementation of this new curriculum, a problematic basic education system will be created for the future generation.
These assertions are based on several factors including the notice that though the implementation of the CCP delayed for two years and was even reviewed last year, it still doesn’t conform with the change in the educational structure, as well as the training of teachers being done without proper planning and appropriate resources.
Executive Director, Institute for Education Studies (IFEST), Peter Anti Partey, explained that the initial implementation of the CPP curriculum was to take place in 2020 but COVID-19 interrupted the process. However, the Ministry of Education (MoE) decided to put on hold the implementation plans afterward in order to review it from the intended four years to three.
“The three years plan requires a review of the four years document designed. We the stakeholders thought that the document that will come out after the review process will reflect the compressed version but this did not happen,” he said.
Mr. Partey added that training teachers with documents planned for four years when the structure has been reviewed to three years is also problematic. “Why delay the process for two years, review the document and still use the old document, does it mean the review was a waste of time and resources?” he questioned.
Executive Director, Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch), Kofi Asare, on his part, stressed that the MoE and Ghana Education Service (GES) must ensure that textbooks are provided to the schools before the roll out of the CCP to prevent what happened with the Standard Based Curriculum (SBC) implementation when for two years, textbooks were not available.
“The first two years of implementing the SBC has been poor due to lack of textbooks and other myriad of planning deficits. The challenges surrounding the rollout of this Junior High School (JHS) curriculum, CCP, requires the MoE to streamline communication on timelines and availability of resources to enable proper planning,” he said.
CCP Teacher and Learner Resource Pack challenges
The CCP introduced a new initiative known as the Teacher’s Resource Pack and Learner’s Resource Park, which provides assistance to teachers and learners with the aim of complementing the textbooks so that even in the delay of textbooks, academic work will still be on track.
Even though the CSOs lauded this initiative, they found it also very problematic because teachers were not provided with these manuals during a workshop, especially those in the remote areas and rather, were asked to download it online knowing very well that internet access is very difficult in such areas, and some are not abreast with latest technologies.
“In Ghana we all know that when you move far away from the centre or urban centres, getting access to the internet is very difficult, so how do you expect the teachers to download the documents when you know clearly that they do not have internet at their place of work? Mr. Partey quizzed.
He further stressed that as it stands, CSOs are not aware of when MoE and GES will supply the teachers with these materials when schools reopen date is due.
CCP Workshop challenges
Beside the aforementioned irregularities, the workshop organized to train teachers who will be implementing this new syllabus spanned for only three days instead of the original five days. This, Mr. Partey, emphasized was woefully inadequate, considering the fact that in implementing the pervious one -Standard Based Curriculum (SBC), it took five days to train the teachers but even after that, they encountered many challenges in their line of duty.
“We think that it is inadequate and problematic because there are stages in rolling out a programme, pre-implementation process is as important as the implementation. You cannot cut short the processes of pre-implementation and expect to get the implementation right, impossible,” he reiterated.
Again, the GH¢30 per day transportation and motivation monies that were supposed to be given to the teachers attending the workshop had challenges. Whilst in some of the districts outside the regional capitals teachers were given less than the already very low GH¢30, others are even yet to receive their money.
This means that the teachers were not motivated enough because some of them spent more than GH¢30 per day on transportation to and fro the training centre. A situation, Mr. Partey believed will go along way to affect the morale of the teachers in implementing the CCP.