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THE NEW EDUCATION POLICY Ė 6-3-4-4

Wednesday, 04 August 2010 07:29

 

 

GOVERNMENT WHITE PAPER ON THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTOTHE POOR PERFORMANCE OF PUPILS IN THE 2008 BECE AND WASSC EXAMINATIONS

The poor performance of pupils in the 2008 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Sierra Leone prompted His Excellency the President to set up a Commission of Inquiry comprising: Professor Sahr P. Thomas Gbamanja as Chairman, Professor Ekundayo J.D. Thompson, Dr. Bamidele O. Sannoh, Mr. Nabie M. Kamara, Mr. Akiwade J. Lasite as Members and Saa Kpulun (Permanent Secretary) as Secretary, with the following terms of reference:

a) To investigate and identify the reasons for the poor performance of pupils in the BECE and WASSC Examinations in Sierra Leone, taking into account the role played by the following:

(i) School environment

(ii) Home environment

(iii) The curriculum

(iv) Teachers and their attitudes and methodologies

(v) Teachersí motivation

(vi) Pupilsí preparedness

(vii) Class sizes

(viii) The two-shift system

(ix) Tertiary institutions (USL, NU, MMCET, NP, EP, FTC, PLTC etc)

(x) Proprietors

(xi) Head teachers/pupils

(xii) The Ministry of Education officials

(xiii) Social factors, and

(xiv) And other factors relevant to the investigation

 

(b) To ascertain the impact of the 6-3-3-4 system on the performance of the pupils and how that compares with the experience of the other countries that have adopted the same system.

 

(c) To investigate the reasons for indiscipline in secondary schools.

 

(d) To recommend immediate, short, medium and long-term measures to improve and sustain pupilsí performance in the BECE and WASSC Examinations.

 

Government, after due consideration of the Report and Recommendations of the Commission

agreed to take the following position thereon:

 

A IMMEDIATE RECOMMENDATIONS

 

A1 Modification of the 6-3-3-4 System of Education to include a compulsory early child component, and extension by one year of the duration of senior secondary school. The system now becomes the 6-3-4-4. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission for the review of the 6-3-3-4 system to 6-3-4-4 and to accommodate the implementation of Early Childhood Education.

 

A2. Free and Compulsory Primary Education in both policy and practice. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission subject to the involvement of local councils in the implementation of the policy.

 

A3. Establishment of Teaching Service Commission with a review of the conditions of Service of teachers as a top priority action. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

A4. Establishment of the National Institute of Education, Training and Research (NIETAR) by legislation as a semi-autonomous specialized agency for Curriculum Development, Teacher Development and Educational Research, with a study of Special Needs Education as a priority. NIETAR should incorporate the National Curriculum Research and Development Centre, and the National Council for Technical, Vocational and other Academic Awards (NCTVA).

Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

A5. Implementation of the Recommendations of the WAEC Chief Examinerís Report On Schools and submission of annual reports on the outcomes of implementation. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission, and that the Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of Education should monitor the implementation and ensure compliance by all schools.

 

A6. Criminalization of the Practice of Irregular Admission of Pupils in Secondary Schools

 

A7. Banning of ACCESS Courses in tertiary institutions. Faculties of Science in a university

however may organize preparatory programmes for science candidates wishing to retake the WASSCE. These are extramural candidates and NOT university students. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

A8. Phasing out of the Two-Shift System. This recommendation is made with the Proviso that additional classrooms will be built to accommodate all pupils in one shift. Meanwhile schools should create more streams to accommodate pupils. Pupils shall attend school from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily with a 45 minutes lunch break. Regular and punctual school attendance by teachers and pupils shall be enforced. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission, and that it should be effected within a period of three years.

 

A9. Reduction of the number of Examination Subjects from 9 to 7 subjects for BECE and

WASSCE in conformity with the decisions of the other West African countries.

Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

A10. Regulation of Extra-Curricula Activities in Schools and Colleges such as dances, sports,

school outings and carnivals, and imposition of a permanent ban on devilish cult activities.

Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

A11. Enforcement of Rules Regarding Speaking of English in Schools by Teachers and Pupils. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

A12. Banning of Extra Lessons for students on school premises. Government does not accept the recommendation of the Commission. Government however agrees that syndicate classes on school premises should be banned.

 

A13. Performance Contracting of Head Teachers and Principals of Secondary Schools And Tertiary Institutions. This should be informed by the principles of Results-Based Management.

Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

A14. Enforcement by Statutory Instrument of a Code of Conduct including a Dress Code for all Teachers and Pupils. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

A15. Filling of all Vacant Positions in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and appointment of a Professional Head of the Ministry. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

A16. Discontinuation of payment of BECE and WASSC Examination fees for pupils by Government. Textbooks and other Learning Materials should be provided instead. Government does not accept the recommendation of the Commission. Government however agrees that payment of BECE and WASSCE fees for children attending private schools only should be discontinued.

 

A17. Strict Adherence to Matriculation Requirements for Admission of Students by Universities and other Tertiary Educational Institutions. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

A18. Strict Adherence to Curricular/Programme Mandates by Tertiary Institutions and enforcement of compliance by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

A19. Criminalization of the Sale of School Materials Supplied by Government. Government agrees that the sale of school teaching and learning materials supplied by Government should be treated as a criminal offence.

 

 

B. SHORT-TERM RECOMMENDATIONS

 

B1. Reduction of Class Sizes with 50 and more Pupils. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

B2. Review of Teacher Recruitment Process and Ceiling on Employment of Teachers. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission but that no ceiling should be placed on the employment/recruitment of teachers.

 

B3. Training of all Untrained and Unqualified Teachers throughout the country through well-structured training programmes. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

B4. Training of all Heads of Schools and Colleges on Educational Administration and Management and in Computer Application. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

C. MEDIUM-TERM RECOMMENDATION

 

C1 Early Scheduling of the Basic Education Certificate Examination Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission, and that the Ministry of Education should discuss the proposal with WAEC with a view to agreeing on a workable time-frame.

 

C2. Adoption of a Policy on Technical and Vocational Education. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

C4. Regulation of Video Clubs and Entertainment Centers in the immediate vicinity of schools and activation of the Film Censorship Board. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission, and that implementation should be in collaboration with the Local Councils for all persons below the age of 18 years.

 

C5. Employment of Guidance Counsellors in every school with emphasis on career guidance in their job description. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission, and that every Senior Secondary School should have a Career Guidance Counsellor.

 

C6. Increase in Funding for Science and Technology and upgrading of science laboratories

in schools. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

C7. Implementation of a Comprehensive Nationwide Parentís Education Programme (PEP) with literacy component. Government does not accept the recommendation of the Commission as Government does not at this point have the capacity to fund the proposed programme.

 

C8. Provision of Library Facilities in every School. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

C9. Provision of User-pay School Bus Service. Government does not accept the recommendation of the Commission as the proposed activity can best be handled by the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation (SLRTC).

 

 

E. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS

 

That a Task Force on implementation of the recommendations be set up as soon as possible. Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.

 

Agreed to implement the following:

(i) that the teaching of the French language be reactivated and reinvigorated, and made

compulsory in all secondary schools from JSS1 to SSS III;

(ii) that one full-fledged boarding home school be established by Government in each District in the medium-term;

(iii) that [after] the phasing out of the two-shift system, Government should provide mechanisms to support the implementation of the one-shift system;

(iv) that the policy on the establishment of private schools and private tertiary institutions

be enforced;

(v) that the provision of basic education to all Sierra Leoneans at an affordable cost is a policy of Government. In this regard, the proliferation of unregulated private schools and the high charges they levy is undermining the policy. That Government policy therefore is that the levy of school charges by all private schools should only be effected after consultation with the Ministry of Education;

(vi) that ceremonial uniforms in all schools be abolished and that each school should have

only one type of uniform.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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