We created a monster when ‘college’ was taken out of the education system – Dr Adutwum

Education Minister Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum said the dismantling of the “college” structure of the country’s education system had had a disastrous impact on secondary education.

The “college” system has been replaced by the current system [Junior High School] which separates lower secondary from upper secondary following the educational reforms of 1987.

The middle school system used to be part of elementary school, which offered students the opportunity to progress from grade six to high school or middle school before high school.

According to Dr. Adutwum, there is a need to transform the current system to enable the country to compete with others in the world.

“The 1987 education reforms dismantled what was once a bifurcated path where you could go through the middle school system and go on to secondary or you could go from sixth grade and go on to secondary. We created a monster, we eliminated what was college… In 1987, we said to ourselves that we didn’t need seven years of high school… We borrowed a concept from the United States of America” , he said.

Addressing a press conference on the ministry’s interventions on Sunday, he said that despite adopting the junior high system, it did not provide any skills required for students to compete globally.

He added that “when the college was removed, we also did not replace it with a quality college”.

For this reason, Dr. Adutwum noted that high schools are being built under the government of Akufo-Addo which will have similar facilities as graduate schools to ensure quality education.

“We have junior high schools that are currently under construction and the facilities there will be like high schools. This is a pilot program and students taking it would have three quality years of junior high, move on to senior high to do another three years, giving them six years, making them competitive and would make us competitive in the world,” he said.

The pilot program will start with a dozen colleges

Janice G. Ball