The poor performance of students at the basic education level has become a major source of concern to many stakeholders in Northern Region who are calling for immediate solution to the phenomenon.
At the first ever Regional Education Forum organized by the Northern Regional League of Youth Association in collaboration with Youth Empowerment for Live (YEfL) held in Tamale, the Northern Regional Director of Education, Alhaji Mohammed Haroon Cambodia said that the region was always competing with Upper East and Upper West Regions for position at the bottom of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) ladder while other regions were competing for top positions.
He attributed the abysmal performance of students in the BECE examination to several inhibiting factors including internet fraud popularly known as “sakawa. According to him, majority of final year students in the region did not attend classes after registration but rather engaged in hooliganism, watching of pornographic films, internet fraud popularly known as “sakawa”, sexual immorality and all manner of indiscipline.
Alhaji Haroon Cambodia lamented that teachers in the region were also contributing greatly to the abysmal performance of students through teacher absenteeism and what he termed as “teacher presenteeism” where teachers report to school but fail to teach students.
The Regional Director of Education therefore appealed to Chiefs, opinion leaders and other stakeholders to support the Ghana Education Service in ensuring proper monitoring and supervision to prevent teachers from toying with the future of the students.
He also appealed to parents in particular to closely monitor their adolescent children and prevent them from peer pressures, sexual immoralities, drug usage and other indiscipline acts.
The Project Officer for Youth Empowerment for Life, Mr. Clement Boateng said that majority of the youth had lost hope in the education system in the region because they did not get quality learning outcomes due to certain unaddressed factors.
He said that for the past 10 years most of the BECE students in the Northern Region were not getting the required grades to go to Senior High Schools. As a result, many of them he regretted had entered into “kayaye”, prostitution and “sakawa” among others.
Mr. Boateng therefore called for multi-sectoral approach to address the various challenges such as lack of decent infrastructure, furniture, teaching and learning materials as well as effective monitoring and supervision.
Meanwhile, the Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed and the President of the League of Youth Associations, Abu Inusah who also addressed the forum called on traditional, religious and opinion leaders, parents, heads of schools and students alike to play their roles effectively to reverse the poor performance of schools in the BECE examination.
The Northern Regional Education Forum brought together district directors of education, traditional rulers, religious leaders, district coordinating directors, civil society organizations, youth groups and the media among others.
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