The assessment methods used in Ghana’s education system is one of the parochial reasons the schools are churning out students that are not fit for purpose, Elsie Effah Kaufmann has said.
The biomedical engineer and lecturer at the University of Ghana believes, celebrating students for getting the perfect score without taking into consideration the method of that assessment and its bearing on the future of individual student, is one of the problems that needs to be addressed.
“If the assessment method does not require any critical thinking…they [students] will adapt to do what it takes to get the reward for getting the A,” Dr. Kaufmann told Daniel Dadzie on the Super Morning Show Friday.
She slammed students’ attitude of chasing past question; arguing that focussing on the past questions is in order to pass exams would not prepare them for the challenges outside the classroom.
“Memorising past questions do not prepare you for a future that has not been captured in the past questions,” she stated urging students to be focused on the more practical aspect of their study.
Dr. Kaufmann, — who is quiz mistress for the National Science and Maths Quiz; a competition among Senior High Schools that seeks to promote the study of both subjects — recently lamented about how rapidly the contestants could rattle the theories but are found wanting when faced with practical.
She added that for efficient results to be achieved by both students and their instructors, those with political or administrative power must develop the will to reward the right attitude.
Explaining this, Dr. Kaufmann said some teachers and lecturers are promoted “based on output of a certain sort so they do what it takes to get that reward”.
For a paradigm shift, the lecturer believes the revolutionary student and teacher attitude must be rewarded. “The students must be rewarded for practical work, creative thinking and doing things on problem-solving,” she proposed.
“…if the teacher puts in the effort to get this outcome, it has to be worth something because if you don’t put value on that, the tendency is to look at things that are valuable,” she added.
Speaking on the show, Operations Manager at Alpha Beta Education Centres, Naomi Adjepong took a swipe at the system as well saying that the education “curriculum and assessment need to [be reformed], to promote application and critical thinking”.
She also called for IT reforms as a means of promoting purposeful education. “…from both the teachers’ perspective and the students’ perspective, if we are able to teach the student to use internet effectively, knowledge would change over time,” she said.
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