A former Rector of GIMPA, Prof Stephen Addai, believes Ghana’s basic educational system is the worst in the world in terms of quality.
He said the framers of the basic and senior high education system failed to adequately plan to synchronize it with vocation, trading and job placement.
He said two-thirds of public Junior High School graduates are “functionally illiterate” despite the high enrollment rate in basic schools.
Prof. Addai said research has proven that the basic educational system is a major breeding ground for the high youth and graduate unemployment rate in the country due to the poor level of education.
“The phenomenon of youth and graduate unemployment may be attributed to factors including the JHS and SHS systems [which] were introduced without adequate planning and integration of trades and vocations and job placement,” Prof. Addai said at the 1st International Conference on Management Entrepreneur & Business Education organized by the Business School of All Nations University College in Koforidua.
“It didn’t go through the normal planning because the junior high school was not supposed to be terminal, it was to be a stage whereby all the children will go to Grammar schools (SHS) and the rest will go to a trade school at least for two years, but unfortunately it has become terminal.”
He added: “The worse part of it is that 2/3 of those who come out of JHS in the public sector are functionally illiterate and I probably will think Ghana in that regard has the worst basic educational system in the world. It doesn’t mean that we have less children going to [school], in fact our basic education enrolment rate is among the highest. In the public schools we have crossed the 80% but I am talking about the output.”
According to Prof Addai, the emerging gap between industries and academia must be bridged by collaboration between academia and industries as well as come up with tailor-made courses to prepare graduates to have entrepreneurial skills to establish their own business.
He said universities must design courses to simulate the reality in the job market and forge close relationship with industries.