Dangerous times

So…. In 2012 when the last round of public senior secondary
exams were allowed to take place, only 10% of the candidates countrywide
passed.  Worrying!  Very worrying!  Very worrying for all concerned.  The minister’s solution?  He cancelled the 2013 round of exams and
decided that all candidates must undertake a 4th year of Senior
Secondary schooling.  Well… ok… clearly
they had not been sufficiently prepared but is just more of the same going to
solve the problem? 

EducAid’s students didn’t take 4 years to get 100% pass
rate.  They had well trained
teachers.  Surely 4 years of poor
teaching is not going to be better than 3 years of poor teaching.  The answer is to train the teachers, motivate
the teachers, provide the teachers and learners with appropriate teaching and
learning resources.

This year, when the entries have gone in to the exams
council, the ministry has intervened and deleted all those candidates who have
not got their BECE (Basic Education Certificate Examination) results from at
least 4 years ago and NPSE (National Primary School Examination) results from
at least 3 years ago are not being entered. 
There is no test to check if students are ready or not.  There is no allowance for bright ones who are
able to push themselves and do the work faster. 
(We have students who are ready for the BECE in 1 year at times and in 2
years often.) Children who sat their junior exams in Guinea – there are still
plenty of them since the war – cannot sit without going right back to the
beginning again.  Our Women’s Project, a
catch up education programme for girls of secondary age but below secondary
standard, will now no longer be able to fast track girls back into mainstream
classes and get them fit for public exams. 
Unless, the minister’s decision is overturned we have a very significant
problem of youngsters who will be so demotivated they will revolt.  This is looking just like some of the pre-war
decisions that left so many young people feeling marginalised, frustrated,
angry and ready for recruitment!
Very very worrying!
If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid’s work
with vulnerable young people, please go to
www.educaid.org.uk

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