Duration of JHS, SHS has not been reviewed – NaCCA boss clarifies

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (#NaCCA) has debunked claims that the duration for Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School (SHS) education has been extended.

Dr Prince Hamid Armah, the Executive Secretary of the Council said it is untrue that JHS students will spend four years in school while SHS education is reduced to two years.

He explained that the new Common Core Programme (CCP) Curriculum is the second phase of the Pre tertiary curriculum review started in 2017, with the KG and primary years programme currently being implemented by the Ghana Education Service.

His comments come ahead of a planned stakeholder engagement on the draft CCP from Basic 7 (JHS 1) to Basic 10 (SHS 1) scheduled for 28th February 2020.

As a sequel to the KG-Primary 6 curriculum introduced in September 2019, the common core curriculum is a carefully designed programme of nine subjects for learners in Basic 7 to Basic 10 (JHS 1 – SHS 1) as part of learning experiences to prepare them for post-secondary education, the world of work or both.

“Some of the subjects that make up the Common Core Programme include Religious and Moral Education, Creative Arts and Design, Social Studies, Sciences, Computing, Career Technology, Physical and Health Education”, he added.

Why CCP?

Espousing the distinctive features of the CCP, Dr Armah said the curriculum is designed around building character and nurturing values, in addition to ensuring a seamless progression for all learners from JHS to SHS and create clear pathways for academic and career-related programmes from Basic 11 (SHS2) to Basic 12 (SHS3).

Dr Armah further added that the CCP seeks to address the shortfalls in the current school system in relation to learning and assessment and promote better high school education that meets the varied learning needs of the young people in the country.

Learning and Assessment Proposals under the CCP

Touching on what the CCP assessment will focus on, Dr Armah said the new reform will assess knowledge, skills, attitudes and values with emphasis on what learners can do, adding that in the 21st century it is no longer tenable for students to memorise facts and figures without being able to apply knowledge innovatively to solve everyday problems.

Again the “learners will do personal projects, community project and/or community service as part of a comprehensive assessment programme designed under the National Pre Tertiary Assessment Framework.”

On how the students will be assessed, Dr Armah said an external assessment called the National Standards Assessment Test (NSAT) will be conducted in JHS 2 (Basic 8) to provide national-level indicators to promote learners’ progression, as captured in the National Pre Tertiary Curriculum Framework published by NaCCA in 2018.

“Placement exams into SHS may still be conducted at the end of JHS 3 (Basic 9), adding, at the end of the CCP, the Common Core Examinations will be conducted, to guide learners in choosing a combination of courses either for academic or career-related pathways once they are already in the senior high schools,” he said.