If you search for the New 2019 GES curriculum online, you will be inundated with a whole load of pronouncements about what is happening in September 2019. That is two (2) months away or five (5) academic weeks away.
In April of this year there was a huge media announcement about the new 2019 syllabus roll out. As I write, as the Education Director of private basic school, we are yet to have any official engagement about this new syllabus.
In fact, even getting hold of the official copies of the syllabus was a real challenge. I remember trying for about 3 hours one afternoon to contact the Ghana Education Service(GES), the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) and the National Inspectorate Board (NIB) to find out where I could get authentic versions of the syllabus.I had received many copies of the curriculum from the various WhatsApp groups I belonged. How was I to know if these copies were unadulterated versions?
Finally, I got some information through the Ghana STEM Network (1st June 2019) that the official versions were up on the NaCCA website. When I went there, there were no syllabi for KG, Creative Arts, Physical Education and Our world and Our people. These are now on the website as at 10pm on June, 14th 2019.
So I decided to contact the NaCCA to find out when these will be out. Imagine my frustration when the contact number on the website went unanswered in my many attempts to call. I sent an email on 4th June 2019 and I am still awaiting a response. The ‘get in touch’ enquiry function on their website did not submit either. At which point I gave up trying. At least I had some syllabus to be getting on with.
Before these official documents I had been working off the unofficial versions I had received through other sources. Familiarising myself so that I could induct those in my charge on it.
As a teacher trainer and Education Director, I had been readying many teachers for the delivery of this well constructed and developed Syllabi. Why spend so much time, effort and energy writing such a well constructed syllabus, if those who will be at the chalkface of delivery are not inducted appropriately to deliver it? If the start is wrong, it becomes difficult to undo mistakes and correct the delivery.
I believe the Minister For Education, Dr.Matthew Opoku Prempeh launched the training programme of the Trainers of teachers in May but as yet I have no statistics or information on how far the roll out of training has gone. And of course Private Basic Schools have not been engaged in any way at all. From information accessed online from the Trading Economics website, 26% of Basic primary schools in Ghana are private.
My question then is why ignore a quarter of the institutions that will be implementing this new curriculum?
What is the strategy for the roll out and how do we ensure that the delivery of this most amazing curriculum is not severely compromised by what will seem to be an ill thought out strategy?
The teachers in the school I work in have had an induction on the new curriculum because we, the management are ensuring that they have some preparation time towards September 2019. We also understand the pedagogical changes required to implement this new curriculum well and do it the justice it deserves.
So to summarise, an otherwise inspired new curriculum is going to be (it would seem) let down by a most poorly executed strategy for delivery and this truly disappoints and disheartens me.
Evelyn Agyepong (Ms.)
Educator/ Social commentator/ STEM advocate