Education Minister’s comments on Diploma for JHS and SHS misconstrued – MOE

The Ministry of Education has denied claims that its minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh has announced that Junior High Schools and Senior High school graduates will be award a diploma certificate.

Dr Opoku Prempeh was alleged to have announced plans to upgrade the Senior High School (SHS) certificate into a National Diploma certificate to allow graduates gain employment after completion of their programmes. He spoke at the 2019 Danquah Institute Leadership lecture on the theme: “World Class Education and Imperative for the Next Generation of Leaders”.

But a press statement signed by the Communication Director of the ministry, Mr Ekow Vincent Assafuah on Monday said Dr Opoku Prempeh’s comments were misrepresented and taken out of context.

According to Mr Assafuah, the minister referred to the fact that prior to the 1987 reforms that saw the shift from the ‘A’ level to the SHS system, an undergraduate degree was three years, similar to and in the case of University of Ghana in particular, the first year which was non-scoring, referred to as First University examinations (FUE).

He explained that touching on the pre-tertiary curriculum reforms currently being pursued by government, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh referred to the need for a strong and robust pre-tertiary education structure, and noted that with such a system, a discussion on whether the current four-year undergraduate degree could be reduced to three years.

Mr Assafuah added that the minister in his speech sought to trigger a national dialogue to potentially reconsider reverting to this undergraduate model, on the basis of a much improved and more robust SHS curriculum so that students can be adequately prepared for a three-year undergraduate programme.

He added that the minister mooted the idea of a national diploma for all SHS leavers, which will enable them to go into work, with those desiring to enter university then going on to write the WASSCE in order to do so.

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