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Gbamanja Commission of Enquiry presents reports to President Koroma

Gbamanja Commission of Enquiry presents reports to President Koroma

The Gbamanja Commission of Enquiry yesterday presented its report to President Ernest Bai Koroma at State House.

Introducing the Commission to the President, Education Minister Minkailu Bah recalled that it was set up to look into the poor performance of students in the 2008 BECE and WASSCE examinations, with  clear terms of reference and to ascertain the impact of the 6-3-3-4 system on educational output generally.

Presenting the report, Chairman Gbamanja said it was a great pleasure for them to serve the nation, as they visited every district, had live discussions, and conducted over one thousand interviews. He added that they had observatory sessions with teachers and pupils during lessons. He was therefore confident that the nation would be appreciative of the work of the Commission, hoping that their recommendations would be properly and thoroughly looked into, taking into consideration that quality education would always be vital and important in efforts to build a better nation.

Giving a gist of the contents of their report, Professor Gbamanja said the introduction of the 6-3-3-4 system was not timely; adding that though it was a good concept by intention, there were enormous problems at implementation and performance.

He however placed the greatest responsibility and blame on the teachers who are performing below standard, noting that it had to do with attitude to service, thereby affecting general school performance. He said the Commission also observed that pupils were generally not prepared for the exams and predominantly lacked studying skills. He questioned the over-reliance on teachers’ pamphlets, which usually do not adequately address the requirements of the curriculum. Consequently, teachers neglect preparation or study and refuse to adhere to examiners’ reports, while on the other hand students don’t study and most times don’t understand questions.

The Commission recommended the establishment of a Teachers Service Commission and an Institute of Education. Also recommended was the banning of all access courses and the erasing of the two-shift system (as the afternoon shift is not conducive for learning), the reduction of subjects from nine to seven to enhance concentration, the banning of extra lessons, the reviewing of performance contracts for Principals, and that government should stop paying fees for pupils but rather provide text-books in schools.

The Commission also recommended that parents/guardians should monitor their children/ wards in and out of school, and that government should set up a monitoring task force to complement this.

In his response, President Koroma thanked the Commission on behalf of the entire nation, noting that everyone must be proud of them for a job-well done. He promised that their recommendations and the entire report would be carefully studied and taken into consideration, while even assuring that a task force will be set up to monitor the recommendations.

The President asked the members of the Commission to closely work with the Government in putting together modalities for implementation.

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