Former President, John Dramani Mahama, has asked Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum to let someone take over from him if he cannot help students in low-performing schools to improve.
According to the aspiring presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Minister’s statement that all underperforming schools face closure if they do not improve, is unacceptable and demonstrates his incompetence.
During a forum in Kumasi, the Education Minister charged the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) and Principals of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions to improve their educational performances or risk having their institutions closed down.
He explained that a school with a consistent zero to 10 percent pass rate should put together interventions to ensure the majority of their students find opportunities for further studies, rather than becoming a liability to their parents and society due to their inability to pass their exams.
However, speaking to NDC supporters in the Ahafo Ano South-East Constituency as part of a three-day campaign tour of the Ashanti Region, the former President urged Dr. Adutwum to accept responsibility for the underperforming schools and address the issue head-on.
Instead of assigning blame, he stated that the Minister is responsible for ensuring that all schools have the necessary facilities and tools to improve their academic outcomes.
“The suggestion by the Education Minister to close down non-performing schools and enroll the students in other schools is unacceptable and insensitive to me, it’s not really understandable,” he said.
Mr. John Mahama also stated that during the NDC’s tenure, many of the underperforming schools were given proper teaching and learning materials to help them improve their performance.
He stated that under the supervision of Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, many of the low-performing schools were raised to a certain level at a point that competed with the best-performing schools.
He noted however, that since the NPP government took office, academic excellence in many of these low-rated schools has declined dramatically due to negligence.
“It’s not the fault of the schools, their poor performance, it’s your duty as the Education Minister to properly resource all deprived schools, so you cannot close down any school in Ghana,” he indicated.