Use Continuous Assessment to Grade WASSCE and BECE – CRI suggests

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Child Rights International (CRI) has called on the Ministry of Education (MoE) to use the Continuous Assessment as an alternative to grade BECE and WASSCE students due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

According to CRI, a child-centered organisation, such a move would remove the burden of MoE and the Ghana Education Service (GES) having to go through the difficulties of awarding certification and grading students as a result of the global impact of the coronavirus.

In a statement issued and signed by its Executive Director, Mr Bright Appiah, CRI said irrespective of the impact COVID-19 ” is having on the education sector, the country’s primary goal is to ensure that children’s rights are minimally affected, especially their right to education”.

“Whatever decision that is taken concerning this particular area, the country must ensure it is in line with constitutional directives that dictate that in everything we do, we must put the best interest of children first,” the statement said.

He said the process of grading students this term should be scraped completely to pave way for the adoption of a new system of rewarding marks to students.

In the new system, Mr Appiah said the continuous assessment must be made a priority in grading students, “the continuous assessment is a form of educational examination that evaluates a student’s progress throughout a prescribed course”.

He said currently, at the BECE level, the continuous assessment forms 40 per cent of the whole examination scores and at the WASSCE level it is 30 per cent which are calculated cumulatively.

Mr Appiah proposed new indicators such as performance of students in schools, their history in terms of their class and homework, contributions in class activities, their predicted results over the past three years among others as a benchmark to determine students who would get either ‘A or B’.

He said in ensuring equity in grade A, B and C schools, the benchmark must differ based on the history of the school.

“For instance, Mr Appiah said the bench mark to assess the grading of some top notch school might be 80 per cent while others might be 70 or less depending on the schools previous records,” he said.

Explaining why it was necessary to adopt a new approach for this term, Mr Appiah said one of the major sectors where COVID-19 has affected deeply apart from trade activities among nations is the education sector.

“UNESCO, in a recent report, stated that the number of children out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic stood around one billion children worldwide. According to the report, nine out of 10 children are out of school globally as a result of the virus outbreak,” CRI stated.

Faced with similar situations, Mr Appiah said countries have devised ways of ensuring that school children still have access to education while they complied with directives to practise social distancing.

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