Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, is charging public tertiary institutions to allow students who obtain grade D7 in WASSCE to have access to tertiary education. According to the Minister, the institutions must create access for such students through innovative programmes.
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum does not understand why the Education journey of students must be curtailed simply because they had a grade of D7 in WASSCE.
Getting D7 in WASSCE should not be a barrier to tertiary education
Speaking at the swearing-in and inauguration of Governing Councils of some public technical Universities, the Minister charged the universities schools in Ghana to accept D7 and create innovative and access programmes for such students.
“Our gross tertiary enrollment ratio is 18.8%, South Korea is 73.6%, so no nation has been able to show transformation without hitting 40 to 50% tertiary enrollment ratio.
“Mauritius is 40%, you go there and everything is changing. Our 18% will not change Ghana and that is why the President has set an agenda of 40%, what it also means is that you have to start looking at your programmes, more diploma programmes so that students sitting home with D7 will find a place in your institution.”
“There are institutions that are saying we are not getting the numbers but what happened to support students offering courses in diploma, electrical engineering and after that, you’re going to see the numbers going up and after that, they can go to work. And then if they want to continue they can continue. So we shouldn’t see D7 as a barrier for students accessing tertiary.”
Currently, most public Universities have set C6 as the least grade a student can get in the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) to qualify for enrollment.
Whilst some have questioned this, much change has not been made to the requirement as many students have to rewrite such courses to be able to enroll in tertiary institutions.
According to Dr. Adutwum, such Students with D7 in WASSCE must have the opportunity to prove themselves.
Visual Arts students can enroll to offer engineering at the University
The Education Minister has also disclosed that students who do Visual Arts as a course in the second cycle institution can continue to do engineering in tertiary if they so desire.
Dr. Yaw Adutwum added that the government is working closely with Ghana Tertiary Education Commission to allow Visual Arts students to pursue a course and career in engineering.
He explained that engineering requires creativity, and impediments should not be placed in the way of visual arts students who possess such qualities.
“This year, we are going to get, for the first time in the history of this country, our students who are doing visual arts will be allowed to become engineers. And engineers should not think they are going to destroy their profession.
“I don’t think we can do engineering very well if we don’t have people who are creative in the midst of it. I am not saying lower standards; they will come in and do pre-engineering and pass the same physics and chemistry courses you expect of everyone. And once they do that, why should we put barriers in their way?”
According to the Bosomtwe MP, he does not understand why a country in need of such technical skills will continue to limit access for people seeking to enroll in such programmes.
“I don’t understand, why as a nation where we need critical skills for transformation, we are the ones who put barriers in the way of youth who are determined.”
For him, students who do visual arts must not be limited to the arts or doing menial jobs but allowed to dream of achieving the highest goals of their lives.
“A 14-year-old makes a decision, or sometimes the school even pushes them to do visual arts, and then we tell him with a straight face that that is the end of you.
“Last year 83,000 students did Visual Arts and they only thing they can do is B.A, Art, drawing something or set up a shop by the street side, we are telling them we’d never allowed them to change their minds.
“And if that child wants to do engineering, they must be given a chance; if they do not prove themselves, then it’s not your fault.”