New JHS curriculum on hold BY: Severious Kale-Dery

Prof_Kwasi_Opoku-Amankwa• Prof Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa — Director-General GES

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has deferred the implementation of the Common Core Programme (CCP), the new curriculum developed for the junior high school.

The new curriculum would rather be implemented next academic year, after enough sensitization, the GES stated and therefore requested teachers to continue to use the old curriculum to teach.

Training

The Director-General of the service, Prof Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, who announced this, said the junior high schools would therefore continue to use the old curriculum and the textbooks since that was still available in the schools.

He attributed the decision to continue with the old curriculum to the outbreak of the COVID-19 at the time the teachers were to have gone through training on the new curriculum.

“Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the necessary preparations for the introduction of the programme have stalled and training of the teachers on the use of the curriculum could not be completed,” he explained.

Giving updates on pre-tertiary education in the country at a press briefing, Prof Opoku-Amankwa was hopeful that adequate training would be done so that the programme could be rolled out the next academic year which would begin in January 2022.

“Our plan is to ensure that all teachers are properly trained before it is introduced,” the Director-General explained.

Class size

Touching on class size in schools, Prof Opoku-Amankwa said in the instance where learners exceeded 50 pupils in the classroom, the district directors had the discretion to run a shift system to ensure social distancing.

He explained that where the shift system was necessary, the first batch would be expected to report to school at 8 o’clock in the morning and close at 11 a.m., while the second batch would report at 12 noon and close at 3:00 p.m.

Textbooks

On textbooks under the new Standard Based Curriculum for pupils in KG to Primary Six, the Director-General admitted that there had been delays in the supply of textbooks for students.

“In anticipation of the delays, the Ministry of Education and the GES developed, trained, and distributed Teachers’ Resource Pack for each grade level and subjects for all 150,000 plus KG One to primary six teachers.

“Procurement processes have commenced and it is expected that the books will be available for use next academic year,” Prof Opoku-Amankwa assured the general public.

He explained that the Teachers’ Resource Pack was designed with enough teaching materials to serve as a stop-gap measure, while the textbooks were printed.

Answering questions on the procurement and supply of past questions, Prof Opoku-Amankwa dismissed the assertion that it was a misplaced priority, insisting that the past questions were meant for the candidates to familiarise themselves with how to answer questions.