Sierra Leone’s dismal performance in the WAEC school exams needs fixing fast

John Mannah: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 30 November 2020:

Sierra Leone’s performance in the recently released 2020 WAEC examination results with a 4.5% Pass Rate in 5 Subjects, when compared to our sister competing countries namely, Ghana with 68.5%, Nigeria- 65.8%, and The Gambia – 64.8%, is not only catastrophic and disappointing to the New Direction Government in Freetown, but to Sierra Leoneans generally, and presents an opportunity for private sector involvement and collaboration with government to fix it.

Additionally, fixing this calamity will also be beneficial to the student’s whose academic careers are in jeopardy because of lost opportunity to enroll in higher learning institutions and adequately prepare for the competitive, dynamic and complex global environment that lay ahead.

Importantly, leaders of the New Direction Government in Freetown must be reminded that the 2018 general elections that ushered them into governance was a hard fought battle on ideas, and they succeeded in winning the elections because of their promise to among other things, concentrate on developing the Human Capital of the country. This was the winning theme in their platform which attracted voters leading to their success in the elections.

Moreover, the idea of focusing on developing the Human Capital of Sierra Leone was also a bold one whose time had arrived, especially in a global and technology driven economy where economic growth and development does not only depend on technical progress as a contributing factor as postulated by Nobel Laureate Robert Solow’s 1956 research paper, but human resource development has become an additional factor, as reasoned by another Nobel Laureate David Romer.

Romer whose 1990 research paper introduced Human Resource or Capital “Endogenous Technical Change” as a new technology that has added people, ideas, and things as factors of production in achieving economic and social progress. Human Capital is no longer an exogenous (external or outside the model) factor of production but endogenous (within the model).

Interestingly, Nobel Laureate David Romer’s research captured the practicality of encouraging economic development in places like Sierra Leone where it had failed to occur in the past, and a role has been figured out for the entrepreneur to participate in the productive process.

By using human capital to increase productivity, increasing returns on productivity is no longer restricted to the use of machines such as the steam engines, the printing press, etc., but increasing returns is now a feature of adding a customer to a network, electricity to a village through solar, develop agriculture, or do farm fishing, among others. It is a new era in economic activity and the leaders in the SLPP government were strategic to capture this reality, thereby marking a new dawn that will change the economic space in Sierra Leone.

Against this backdrop, the New Direction Government has done an excellent job in delivering on their promise to develop the Human Capital of the country by actualizing the bold and audacious program called The Free Quality Education, currently in progress to improve the foundation of the educational system across the board under very strenuous and difficult circumstances.

Fortunately, the hard work of the new government has won the admiration of international partners, multilateral finance institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union, the United Nations, bilateral partners, and even the managers of the Millennium Challenge Accounts have taken notice as the effort by the government to invest in the citizens of Sierra Leone is legendary and transformational.

Given these impressive performance and achievements by the government in developing its human resource that will inject a paradigm shift into the fortunes of Sierra Leone, the failure of almost 135, 000 students to gain credits in 5 subjects in the WAEC exams so as to gain entrance into university is a shock to the system.

The question then becomes – how do we fix this?

The answer to this question should go through leadership not just from the government but in partnership with the private sector. The government should continue with the ongoing transformational reforms being introduced by the dynamic Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Dr. Moinina Sengeh, to create the enabling environment for the private sector to get into the education business and complement their effort to get the job done.

Furthermore, the government and other key stakeholders should investigate the type of private sector innovation and leadership that the former principal of the Ahmadiyah Muslim Secondary School Mr. Kamara provided in the late 1970s and 1980s through tactical and strategic thinking, that facilitated students who did not pass the WAEC exams with credits at their first try to repeat  fifth form in the school. These students were offered extraordinary help through the fortitude of formidable Science, Mathematics and English teachers.

Moreover, students who were offered second chances went on to retake the WAEC exams, passed with flying colors and headed to universities and earned their degrees with aplomb. Similar models were replicated in other places around the country with great success.

There are however, going to be contrary views to this idea from practitioners and stakeholders such as members of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) who may offer counter arguments that the reason why these students failed the WAEC exams is because the teachers are not teaching in the schools but rather devote most of their time to running their private syndicates for private gain.

Also, the Ministry of Education may argue that the government is paying tuition for students, salaries of teachers, supplying books and other logistics to run the schools and the problem lies with the students.

This is where economic theories and concepts can come to the rescue to help conceptualize the problem and offer robust measures to address it.

Two economic concepts will therefore be used to examine the reasons why students in Sierra Leone failed the WAEC exams at such an alarming rate and offer reasons why involving the private sector will complement the effort of government to eliminate and reverse this trend. The two concepts are the marginal utility theory of value or the free market theory of value, and the Nash Equilibrium theory.

The concept of the free market theory of value explains why private syndicates as businesses work. It is based on Adam Smith’s “invincible hand doctrine” which states that people are motivated by self-interest, and that there is harmony between self-interest and public interest.

Smith went on to proffer that ‘the baker is not baking bread out of altruism, nor is the butcher herding cattle to provide diner for the public, but out of self-interest, and in the process, he ends up satisfying his own personal interest more effectually than he intended’.

It is by exchanging in the marketplace through the values proposition that this happens. Hence, the value of a good or service in this sense is determined not objectively by the cost of production but subjectively by what others are willing to exchange for it. Therefore, the government can invest all the money it can garner to pay teachers, tuition and supply books in the schools, but if the teaching is not up to standard, it will not make the difference because the students will not value the service and therefore not consume it as they should, leading to the dismal outcome we have in the exams.

Conversely, complementing school lessons with innovative models such as syndicates will create the environment for teachers to offer teaching services that students can purchase with subjective insight to the satisfaction of all the parties. It is how jobs are created in a capitalist economy and the role of government is to create the environment by organizing and regulating it accordingly so that it can collect taxes and manage the economy efficiently.

In general, through competition, teachers and students will offer their best selves to consume the goods in the marketplace to the benefit of all parties and stakeholders.

The other economic concept I will use to conceptualize this problem is the Nash equilibrium game theory developed by Nobel Laureate John Nash which conceptualizes the behavior between game participants to determine the best outcome in a game. I will apply this theory to the context of the teachers offering classes in a syndicate and the government agreeing to regulate it.

Using the Nash equilibrium concept, if the Sierra Leone government is rigid about not allowing teachers to conduct syndicates to earn extra income while simultaneously doing their best to teach their normal classes in their designated schools, then they will pretend to be teaching while performing sub-optimally in their classrooms, and at the same time concentrate on selling pamphlets to earn extra income to take care of their welfare because their take home salaries are insufficient. (Photo: John Mannah).

On the contrary, if both parties (government and teachers) agree to work together and allow teachers to conduct their syndicates under the supervision and regulation of government, where the syndicates are registered and pay taxes to government, then they will arrive at a Nash equilibrium situation and a win-win for all the parties involved – teachers, students, and government.

Thus, Nash equilibrium will facilitate a situation where each party will pursue their own self-interest while simultaneously satisfying the interest of the group to which they belong.

To sum up, the New Direction Government should learn some lessons from this situation and reduce the imprint of the government from the marketplace as there is too much government in the current dispensation crowding out the ingenuity of the engine of the ‘invincible hand’ to perform its magic and grow the economy for the benefit of all the parties in the economy.

Creating the right environment for the private sector to engage and help the students who have failed these exams with a lifeline, will go a long way to help Sierra Leone’s educational system bounce back and regain parity within the West African Examination Council.

17 Comments

  1. In my personal opinion, this WAEC results should shock the conscience of all Sierra Leoneans. These results are a complete testament that most of the students that finally took this examination built their educational foundation on sand 11 or twelve years ago when they started their primary education. Unfortunately, it is an open secret that corruption was a systematic problem for the past 11 years of the APC misrule, and there is credible evidence in the just concluded COI, that the most corrupt institution was the ministry of education under the leadership of our late so-called Professor Minkailu Bah, who worked hand and glove with former President Koroma, to run our educational institution as their major corruption enterprise, by encouraging money transactions between parents, teachers and students.

    Fortunately under the New Direction government, the ACC commissioner Mr. Ben Kaifala decided to draw a line on the sand by shocking the whole world when he displayed some corrupt teachers at the Cotton Tree roundabout. The unexpected raids he conducted in some corrupt examination centres and schools also angered most of those cheating students, who even verbally insulted President Bio that “ He should keep his free quality education to himself and allow them to continue spying” because that was the only system they understood.

    I personally believe that the quantum leap that Sierra Leone took within two years and six months in the fight against corruption from 49% to 81% is as a result of the fight against examination malpractices. Hopefully, the current students that have enrolled under the free quality education has built their foundation on solid rock (which is Integrity and Credibility), and I personally believe that within the next 5-10 years we will start getting positive results.

  2. If it is not broken why fix it? This is where all our troubles can be traced in Sierra Leone. Back in the 70s, 80s and 90s, the way our educational system was structured, it was running in a straight line and sign posted. There is no cutting of corners, or run into any uncharted territory, as this present generation of students are learning the hard way. Whoever thought of dismantling the old ways of acquiring education in Sierra Leone and indtroducing something completely alien to the education system, or the school curriculum, without giving it much thought, never sat down with the experts to analyse the effects the changes will have on students.

    The fact that majority of the so called freedom fighters in the form of the RUF leadership, Foday Sankoh, and Sam Bockarie, were ordering the destruction of schools, and colleges,and killing of qualified teachers, and academics would have given anyone food for thought about the impact it will have on our educational system. By and large the first casualty of the war, was our educational system. One wonders in the aftermath of that senseless war, what serious considerations was given by the reformist, as they embark on dismantling the old ways of doing things. The problem now is, this present generation of students are paying the high prize of the war, and its legacy. Unfortunately they have the double whammy of dealing with decisions made on their behalf without any expert imput.

    The problem in Sierra Leone is, those in position of power do not like to consult the experts in the field, of changes they want to embark on, that affect communities across the country. There is too much power in the hands of the president. Changes that can be made in the ministry of education have to wait for the presidential approval. And sometimes the president does not know all the answers to the myriad of problems in the country. Certainly not Bio, and the ones before him. Lets start all over again. Keep the things that are working, and ditch the things that never worked. Listen to the experts, you will never go wrong.

  3. John, and please just refer to me as Santhkie, I clearly understand your logical argument. I know you mean well and must be hurting to see Sierra being so down and out in examination performance. I still believe that corporate participation in education should be limited to helping to finance anything that has to do with education. This does not imply that if a corporation wishes to start a school it should not be allowed, it can parallel itself with government run schools. This may even ease the pressure on government finances to enable it to adequately finance schools in its care. My only hope is that if this becomes a reality, all instructions should be in English because I can see foreigners jumping in to push their language and culture down our throats – introducing another era of recolonisation.

    If I know us well, opening syndicates run by both the government and private sectors will be seen by those put in charge as a fertile ground for corruption,; they will resurrect the dead and give them a teaching job and tell them they will give them their salary when they (the administrators) join them on the other side. They will be doing all this, while charging students phenomenal fees. What we need John, are well motivated teachers and administrators, minus the ministers responsible for education who should be sacked. They all have PhDs but are useless. I am ready to bet anything that we have Sierra Leoneans (not necessarily PhD holders) who can transform our educational system if given the resources. Believe me when I tell you that you have a good heart for mother Sierra Leone.

  4. I had to come back to ask Mr Mannah a question : Mr Mannah, can you please elaborate on what role the corporate sector should play in our educational system? If I understand you correctly you are advocating for the privatisation of our schools – if you have money you can go to school, otherwise you can fall through the cracks for all anybody cares. I believe a move in this capitalist direction embraces insurmountable social ills. Society will now have young people without basic education and no skills; thus they become misfits and cursed to a life of being a liability to society.

    I must also add that while it is helpful to understand what some experts have written on a subject, we should always try to carve something out it that is uniquely our own, based on who we are as a people. What works in Europe or North America cannot always be transplanted in Sierra Leone or Africa because we are different. We have the ability to bend any evidence-based theory to suit us; we just lack the tenacity.

    • Thanks for your comment and insight Mr. Santhkie Sorie. The simple answer to your question is no. I am not suggesting that the private sector or corporations take over the running of the school system in Sierra Leone. My hypothesis is that the private sector can play a strategic role to develop an educational production function that is more competitive than the one produced by the public school system, that led to the mass student failure in the WAEC 2020 exams. A private sector led educational production function will allow ordinary Sierra Leoneans, maybe even teachers with some entrepreneurial mindset to seize the opportunity that has presented itself to assemble factors of production and offer syndicate classes in subjects like Mathematics, English Language, Science subjects like Biology, Chemistry and Physics in a more efficient manner.

      If several syndicates can offer these services to the 135,000 students who need this service to prepare for the 2021 WAEC exams, it will engender competition that can only lead to “the best” allocation of resources to the benefit of all the parties concerned. The obverse will be even worse, because these students are not capable of preparing themselves to retake the exams and succeed. A worst case scenario will be to allow them drop out as High School graduates with very limited opportunities to join the labor market with their limited education.

      The odds we all know is stacked against poorly educated folks even in the developed world, not to talk about Sierra Leone with youth unemployment hovering around 70 percent. Creating the enabling environment therefore, even through a public-private partnership to help these students retake these exams and gain the requisite credits will be an effective and efficient allocation of government funds.

    • As we grapple with the challenges facing our education system, the worst case scenario is, if this reckless government under Bio, decides to invite private companies to bid to run our education system, It will not only deal a mortal blow to access free quality education in Sierra Leone, but it will set us back a generation in trying to educate our future leaders of tomorrow. Indeed, private providers, or independent organisations are independent of government oversight, both financially, and in some cases operationally.

      Although they will argue otherwise, boasting about how transparent they are and they are just trying to help out in the local communities they live, the reality speaks for itself. The Lebanese schools, Cardinal educational Enterprise in Campbell Street Freetown and the all white American missionary school in Kabala. These institutions operated a mini apartheid system in Sierra Leone. Their students never mixed with the locals. Unless you are born an American, there is no fat chance of you attending these educational institutions.

      They make their own rules and are answerable to no one, but themselves. It is like any other business, looking to make quick profit, and watching their profit margins. They are the root cause of inequality, and certainly against the advancement of social mobility in our country. They only cater for the rich in society, in this case our corrupt politicians, and anyone else that happens to have deep pockets and money to burn. If you are lucky enough to be born with a silver spoon dangling from your mouth, as opposed to the rest of us, which is the vast majority of Sierra Leoneans, surely it will be like putting the last nail on the coffin, or extinguishing any future educational aspirations you may have.

  5. Whoever contrived the idea that Krio should be the language of instruction in schools, should be taken outside and shot; it underlines Sierra Leone’s continued decline and very soon we shall find ourselves the scum of not just Africa but the world. Whether one likes it or not, English has become the lingua franca of the world. As a people we have trouble thinking through anything we want to do before adopting and adapting it. It used to be that children started school in class 1 at age 5. In class 7 they took the Selective Entrance Examination and went to Form 1. In the fifth form they took their O’Levels. Now in their early teenage years students would decide whether they wanted to carry on to do their A’Levels. In any case, they were now knocking on the doors of colleges and universities at home and abroad. What was wrong with such a straightforward and simple system?

    The most interesting thing was that right from age five we were taught in English. Some of us started off without knowing how to construct a single sentence in English but we had dedicated teachers. This marks the difference between now and then. All this talk about human capital development, free education and so on will never take off until we go back to the drawing board to see where we tripped that has made us to perform badly in WAEC exams. Again one has to give the example of Rwanda. To cut a long story short, President Paul Kagame switched from French to English upon taking power in 1994 mainly because of how he perceived Paris in the genocide of that year. He did not completely abolish French, it has just taken second place to English while not forgetting the local language which all Rwandans speak. Is this not what is called leadership?

    With modern technology, teaching in general has become much easier. Singapore is majority Chinese but there are also Malays, Indians and other ethnic groups but English is the official language. Our leaders should pay more attention to how Singapore did it and less on stealing the nation’s resources. Using Krio as the language of instruction in any school subject, leads students to an ill-fated future. No wonder they perform so disastrously in WAEC exams.

  6. In order for us to be able to discuss such matters effectively and attain pragmatic sustainable solutions with great ease, we would need to do an honest evaluation of our motivations, ambitions and values. Sierra Leone has become an old turtle that has lost its shell to the raging storms and violent crashing rogue waves on the tumultuous high seas. Imagine that – a bewildered vulnerable turtle, stripped of all its grandeur swimming without a protective shell on its back. Our Sierra Leone is a lost country; a nation without an identity, an eerie place where anything and everything is easily permissible because her people are all severely traumatized, dispirited and under the total control of the firm grips of abject, humiliating poverty.

    Teachers are wretched and poor, trying hard to survive through hard times on bribes coming from the hands of parents of their students. School materials are scarce and unaffordable and worst of all education has been reduced in its intrinsic value and rendered worthless like a ravishing virgin no one wants to marry. Hey! Don’t beat yourself up, for what good is any country with poorly educated incompetent leaders charting its course? Why expect a seed, rotten to its core to yield and bring forth delightful abundant harvests? Our inept leaders are the problem; Folks,” A leader is like the wind and the people are like grass, and wherever the wind blows there also will the green grass lean.(Words of the great Confucius)

    The poor performance of our students is an example handed to them by our under-performing leaders who keep on holding onto public office for eons and millenniums, yet have nothing productive to show for their lousy efforts. Why shouldn’t the students follow in their crooked footsteps? Answer – Why shouldn’t the gentle green grass lean wheresoever the raging wind stubbornly keeps on blowing?(lol)

  7. Thanks Mr Mannah for this insightful article. I have always been an ardent reader of this online news platform, but reframed from commenting because I did not want to engage in any political confrontation, often amplified by two aisles of the main political spectrums – red vs green. However, being a former teacher in Sierra Leone and the Gambia and now working in higher institution, this particular issue is very close to my heart. How did we fail our children and how did we get to this shameful and embarrassing stage in our education system, are questions that I kept asking since the release of the results. I have seen quite a number of social media messages and online articles castigating our Minister of Education who has only been in that position for a few months.

    Let truth be told, even though the current administration should take responsibility of this embarrassment, the mass failure of students in the WASSCE exams is an accumulated generational problem, partly linked to years of neglect in our education system and students reliant on schools and teachers for help during exams or malpractices across all levels of exams (year 6, grade 9 and year 12 exams). For example, in 2013, I was in Sierra Leone doing a field study when my nephew returned from his WASSCE exams almost in tears. He told me disturbing news that a select few students were hosted in a separate room because they had paid for the teachers to help them. My advice to him was to study hard, and that there was no easy way out. Today, my nephew has a BSc honours Degree in Engineering from FBC.

    There are also anecdotal news of some parents literally bribing teachers for NPSE exams (really!) and people in positions of authority compelling schools to help students in their respective regions, so they can demonstrate how ‘good’ they are (yes, beyond human thinking). Another popular problem, which Mr Mannah mentioned, relates to some teachers neglecting the service they are hired to do for paid classes, depriving the majority of learners. What the present Minister did was to interrupt these rituals and minimise exam malpractice, which resulted to grades that reflect the true reality of the students’ learning outcomes. Therefore, while I agree with Mr Mannah, there is more to this issue than involving the private sector. I believe the first step is to have an independent committee (free from political influence) to investigate the root causes of this problem, or have a comprehensive independent study into the educational systems at all levels (institutional, school, community and household levels).

  8. I am very excited at being able to read an objective, practical piece in respect of this problem and I encourage Sierra Leoneans to follow Mr Mannah’s approach of proferring solutions based on logical models. We must move away from the notion in Africa that a solution based on model is theory, just because it has not been tested in our context and therefore hasten to dismiss it. I think additionally that there is opportunity to improve through innovation. I add this for two reasons : first even though excellent arguments are contained in article, other countries in the region will most probably similarly have low teacher wage problems but yet performed better [not even close].

    Secondly, like the suggested initiative of government partnership with teachers to allow/promote syndicates, there could be equally creative ways to improve learning and teaching under difficult circumstances such as covid or similar shocks Sierra Leone needed, but may not have employed. I will propose some ideas, but I want to first verify how the private schools performed compared to public schools. Great and patriotic! I will seek to include an upcoming effort to contribute to national development.

  9. The news feed tells me our education system in Sierra Leone has broken. Curious, I typed, “education system is…” into Google. The top suggestion to complete the search phrase was “broken.” The next four were “bad,” “failing,” “flawed,” and “messed up.” Just as I suspected. I’m a big advocate of Occam’s razor: all things being equal, the simplest answer is usually the right one. I’m also a tremendous supporter of the Duck Rule: if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. So, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Sierra Leone’s public school system has experienced brokenness. Which begs three questions: what got broken in the system? How did it break? And, since educating our future leaders is central, how do we fix this brokenness?

    I know this is an emotionally charged topic, but we don’t just crumble words or sugarcoat the truth when a government, its employees, and its shareholders are at stake. The same business conditions should apply here, so excuse my directness. At most, over 100 public schools in Sierra Leone have failed to meet their academic achievement targets for at least five consecutive years, not including exam irregularities. The underlying causes of such failure are usually a combination of weak leadership, inadequate skill levels among teachers, and insufficient high-quality teaching materials. Compared with a typical school, a failing school often has twice the number of high-poverty students and many more students who enter the school below grade level.

    Failing schools lead to failing districts, places where one-third to one-half of all schools are chronically low-performing schools. These districts rarely have a comprehensive strategy for how to implement reforms. Although some localities have been engaged in school and district turnaround efforts for some years, often they have lacked the capacity to undertake the work at the scale required to create sustainable improvements in teaching and learning.

  10. Patrick, thanks for your comment and insight about the deep tragedy that Sierra Leone’s educational system is currently in. As you rightly stated, Sierra Leone had a well-developed educational system boasting the first university in Sub-Saharan Africa and a seemingly stable economic and political system. However, the country entered the 21st century a growth and economic tragedy and therefore the socio – educational decay we are witnessing today.

    The good news, however, is that the current government in Freetown is aware and sensitive about this issue and is making effort to change the trajectory of the country’s downward educational and social spiral. It has allocated 21% of the national budget or income to education. Our duty as citizens therefore is to critically examine the policies of the government with the aim of steering it towards the right and meaning path for the benefit of all our citizens.

  11. Abdul, one of the challenges that need to be met and dealt with urgently is the adoption of Krio as the official ‘lingua franca’ in Sierra Leone. This is not only disgraceful but more importantly, it is totally damaging to our children and to their opportunities for future development. How in the world are these children expected to compete in an unforgiving world that has no patience with mediocrity?

    All of the countries mentioned in your piece: Ghana, Nigeria and Gambia, use variations of Krio for daily communication but NONE of these countries have gone the way of Sierra Leone. The excuse that Krio is used because most people understand it is pure BS! What happens when the President or a foreign visitor addresses our people? Promoting illiteracy under the guise of popular usage is disastrous as the results from the WAEC examinations so clearly exposed.

    When you read from professionals, the problem becomes even more stark – they cannot write! No wonder we are poorly represented in international forums where the ability to speak clearly, concisely and convincingly is at a premium; but our professionals fail to deliver because their use of English is way below average.

  12. What? I could not think of any year in the history of WAEC, to compare with this year’s Sierra Leone students WAEC results. It is a shame how the once top notch educational standard, which was the envy of British West Africa has dwindled, as the schools have crumbled. It leaves much to be desired from the celebrated Free Quality Education. This is a National schools and Ministry of Education both primary and secondary emergency, a parent/teacher emergency, the government should immediately address and treat as such, to get to the bottom of it. Several emergency actions are critical. Teachers monthly salary structure should be revised to pay teachers a living monthly salary that is, most importantly, paid on time. Provide financial incentives to members of the scholastic profession, such like special credit lines in banks.

    The incentive is not only to attract more qualified persons in the classroom but, rebrand the social standing of the profession. When teachers are lifted from poverty and made to feel at parity with other professionals, it minimizes the need to organize private syndicates, necessary only, due to low monthly salaries and delayed payment. Enough resources should be provided for schools. School libraries should be equipped with books, set up with computers, hooked with internet, supply school furniture etc. Developing human capital through free quality education requires just that. No school-going child should be deprived of a computer because their parents cannot afford it. The problem of poverty is a big component that requires exaggerated attention. It must be addressed for life and things to improve. When school-going children are hungry in school or at home, they lose the energy to learn.

    Finally, the rest is left with the Ministry to insist on recruiting qualify persons to teach. A minimum of bBchelor’s degree for persons to teach at high school, HTC certificate holders or equivalent diplomas, from recognized institutions, to teach in middle schools and the TC certificate holders, to teach elementary schools. Then hold teachers to some minimum standards of expectations. The saying is, “To whom much is given, much is expected”. The results this year are a wake-up call that, more needs to be done on the golden goal to develop the human capital.

  13. A catastrophic mess and educational disaster indeed. What a regional embarrassment for our country. With all the bla, bla, bla about developing human resources, free quality education, ha, ha? Are they happy with a 4.5% pass rate? No way and it’s unacceptable. The so called “dynamic Minister of Primary and Secondary Education” must be sacked or resign honorably. Have to.
    What a national mess and disgrace under this Bio SLPP kakistocracy. I have said it before and will say it again. Let these PhD holders quit and enter the classrooms to help lecture and teach in our schools and universities. That will be a wise idea and patriotic of them. All of them are performing poorly as ministers/heads of departments, compared to their predecessors with or without first degrees in past regimes. It’s appalling and an excellent shame by these PhD ministers or heads of departments.

    Frankly speaking, this is what happens when you surround yourself with novices in the name of a “New Direction” in the “Reverse Direction”. Anyway, they have less than two years to pack their suitcases and return home. God help and protect our saddened youths, who did not make the grade and are left wandering what to do next. It hurts. I hope they don’t blame the APC, the students, teachers or COVID-19 for this super educational mess and disaster. God bless our hardworking teachers and students. TBC.

  14. Thank you Mr.Mannah for trying to highlight these long standing problems in our educational system.The direction the school system has been taking tells one that it is only a matter of time before we come to this disastrous outcome in the WAEC exams. The WAEC exams have long been a barometer to measure the success or failure of our education system. I cannot agree with you more by recommending to government to explore the possibility of encouraging private sector involvement in providing that extra learning opportunity to those students who are really eager to learn. This reminds me of the syndicate lessons that were provided in many parts of Freetown – The Holy Trinity Syndicate ran by one Mr. Kodjo, The Albert Academy syndicate where one Sahr Junisa was a household name in the teaching of English and Literature. These extra classes provided good incentives for students then and there was competition all around. We hope we can see such selfless individuals again to engage in these educational activities to help salvage our once enviable educational prowess in the sub-region.

  15. I chuckled when I read in your conclusion, “parity within the West African Examination Council”. It is with great sadness to see our education system fall so low with our proud history of the first university in west African. Our educational system is failing the pupils, teachers are poorly trained and some teachers never attend Teachers college. It will take years to change the trend. Thanks for highlighting this catastrophe.

Tell us about your views

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.