By Afedzi Abdullah, GNA
Cape Coast, Jan. 09, GNA - The Central Regional Minister, Mr Kwamena Duncan on Monday met all heads of public basic schools to discuss basic education challenges in the Region.
The meeting also brought together Education Directors, Circuit supervisors, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), Traditional leaders as well as other education stakeholders.
It was aimed at working towards ensuring better academic performance in public schools to avert the falling standards of education in the Region.
Addressing the headteachers, Mr Duncan expressed worry over the poor performance of students in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in the Region.
He recounted how in recent times, percentages chalked at the BECE had been dwindling and reiterated his fear for the region if nothing was done to avert the situation.
He said although the Region prided itself as the citadel of education having a large number of the "elite" Senior High Schools (SHS) in the country, many students were not able to secure admission into these schools after completing Junior High School (JHS) due to poor academic performance.
“My fear is always heightened any time I think of the next twenty to forty years. The region is endowed with a lot of resources which we have not been able to harness to our benefit and we are counted among the poorest regions in the country. Education, which is the equalisation factor is also going down” he bemoaned.
Mr Duncan said teachers at the basic school level were the critical link in the education chain as they molded and laid the foundation for the progression of the students to secondary and tertiary levels.
He urged the headteachers as well as the circuit supervisors to strengthen their supervisory roles in the face of all the challenges and commit to ensuring good academic performances.
He encouraged them to develop a strong spirit for want to achieve good results adding that, educational development and performances would reflect their output.
The Regional Minister said regional and district award schemes would be instituted to motivate students to learn well for good grades to enable them to enroll in the best SHSs in the Region.
The scheme would also acknowledge performing schools and teachers in the Region and would motivate them to give of their best.
Mr Duncan said the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) would in a letter to the minister of education and the President demand the thirty percent quota reserved for students from the region when admissions into senior high schools were being done.
Presenting the highlights of the status of BECE performances in the region over the last three years, the Chairman of the Central Regional Education Committee, Mr Bless Kwame Darkey said schools that were hitherto recording consistent good grades were all not performing.
Mr Darkey noted in his report that, lack of effective supervision by circuit supervisors and headteachers, under-staffing, malfunctioning of the District Education Management Committees and parental neglect were the major factors contributing to the low students' performance in the region.