In Summary
  • Secondary schools are in dire straits and the prevailing conditions present severe challenge to quality of teaching and learning as well as student welfare.
  • Government’s aggressive expansion of enrolment of students to secondary schools has to be matched with adequate financial resourcing.

The government’s policy of progressing all Standard Eight candidates to Form One is a major turning point in the education sector.

It is a crucial step in achieving universal basic education — internationally, a minimum of 12 years in school.

For years, the country had to contend with a depressing situation where slightly more than half of primary school leavers transited to secondary education.

Thus, a large chunk of learners were left out, resulting in high wastage rates.

Worse, there were few opportunities since options such as technical and vocational education and training was moribund.

Moreover, primary school leavers are pretty young, just in early teenage, and not mentally, physically, psychologically or legally ready for the world of work.

On Monday, Form One admissions began with a high turnout. This is the chance to critically interrogate the 100 per cent transition and crucially, the secondary education subsector.

INFRASTRUCTURE WOES

Secondary schools face acute congestion and overcrowding. Classrooms, hostels, dining halls and other infrastructure are stretched to the limit.

Schools are understaffed as the government has restricted teacher recruitment, replacing only those who exit while not factoring in increased student population and expansion of schools.

Put together, secondary schools are in dire straits and the prevailing conditions present severe challenge to quality of teaching and learning as well as student welfare.

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