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No change in BECE subjects — Education Minister

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The number of subjects to be written at this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) will remain the same as last year’s, the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has confirmed.

He has consequently urged parents to ignore contrary information attributed to a senior official of the Ghana Education Service (GES), being circulated on social media platforms to the effect that the number of subjects for the examination would be reduced to five.

The Director for Schools and Instruction at the GES, Prince Charles Agyemang-Duah, is heard in the viral interview granted to local news channel,  Max24 News, saying “learning shouldn’t appear to be a punishment for the children; it has to be more meaningful, it has to be productive, and so what has been done is that for the 2024 BECE, five subjects are going to be written by the candidates”.

He then listed “English Language, Mathematics, Science and then a Ghanaian Language” in addition to a fifth subject that would constitute a general knowledge “where they are going to exhibit mastery of ideas across the other subject areas: ICT, Social Studies, Religious and Moral Education”.

Some stakeholders had subsequently raised concern over the fact that the examination was just about six months away — July 2024 — and there were no details about the arrangements.

But addressing the press in Accra yesterday to give an update on education in the country, the minister said the number of BECE subjects would be the same as last year’s.

“We are not changing the number of subjects under the BECE; it is going to be the same, and that the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) is going to send out sample questions of the new examination because it is a new curriculum,” he said.

In a PowerPoint presentation on the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for School Candidates, Dr Adutwum indicated that the WASSCE test scores for students had improved since 2017, stressing that a year ago, two of the top three students in West Africa came from St James Seminary in Ghana.

Dr Adutwum explained that in 2015, 45.2 per cent of students had A1-C6 in English Language, but in 2023, it was 73.11 per cent.

For Integrated Science, during the same period (2015), 28.7 per cent of the students had A1-C6, while in 2023, 66.82 per cent secured A1-C6.

For Mathematics, 32.4 per cent in 2015 had C1-C6 and then 62.23 per cent in 2023, while in Social Studies, 57.4 per cent in 2015 had A1-C6 while 76.76 per cent obtained the same mark in 2023.

“All across the board, the records show that Ghanaian students have done very well. On this score, I want to congratulate all headmasters on the great job that they do for the country every single day,” he said.

Dr Adutwum said the Ministry of Education was doing something about examination malpractice, and that over the last three years, for instance, there had been no leaks of BECE questions.

He said the ministry worked with the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to introduce serialisation of questions, which meant different regions had different sets of questions.
Dr Adutwum said the government had delivered under the free senior high school programme.

On the transformation of public basic schools, the minister said the government had started a huge investment with the support of the Arab Development Bank in putting up new facilities which would help reorganise the public education system.

The infrastructure of the schools, he said, came with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) laboratories and libraries.

Dr Adutwum cited the first of community basic schools being built at East Legon in Accra and said the facility would be completed by April for fresh admissions in September for the 2024-2025 academic year.


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