Youth Arena Network,a registered youth network with the National National Youth Authority over the weekend made history at its first ever Learning Strategist Seminar of the year at the Jasikan District of the Volta Rrgion.
The programme was brought together by The founder and CEO of Youth Arena Network, an education focused youth ,Aaron Lordstone Kpogo and the Buem District Education Office .
Others speakers at the programme include resourceful persons in the person of Divine Kpe and Bright Dey,.
They engaged senior high and technical school students within the Jasikan district for a three day program dubbed
“PURSUING ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE: THE ACT OF APPLYING CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS”.
Education is a vital tool for the holistic development of human capital that goes to positivelyaffect all other aspects of socio-economic development of individuals and the country as a whole. Education is so important that we cannot leave it to chance, especially on the art of the student being educated.
Students form the main object of instruction in our various educational institutions. As part of their obligation is their ability to study and pass examinations, in order to qualify to the next level in their academic progression. Unfortunately, we have witnessed various attempts by some students over successive years who tried to adopt foul means to pass exams without the basic principle of engaging and developing their mental capacity to read, think, learn and understand what they were taught. The accompanying effect has being the high exams failure rates in WAEC organised exams.
Records from WACE have shown that over the past years the pass mark rate of students whosat for WASSCE is below the average mark of 50%. Below is the data by the Deputy Minister for Education (Tertiary), Hon. Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa on August 27, 2014.“Here are the facts from WAEC (FACTS not my OPINION) on the percentage of students who obtained A1 to C6 in 6 subjects (3 Electives and 3 Core Subjects) which is the National Accreditation Board’s minimum entry requirements to progress to the tertiary level.2006 – 12.51% 2007 – 10.58% 2008 – 12.95% 2009 – 14.58% 2010 – No examinations due to four year change. 2011 – 26.00% 2012 – 31.19% 2013 – 19.15% 2014 – 28.10%” *(2015 – 25.00%)*** This is yet to confirmed though.
The above data using year 2012 as the bench mark, shows that averagely 68.81% and more of students fail in their final exams each year, over the past ten years. The factors accounting for these high percentages are multifaceted. Nonetheless, the CEO of Youth Arena Network has identified that, students’ inability to know how to learn and to comprehend what is being taught, largely account for these high failure rates. Teachers often than not tell students to learn but not how to learn. Not knowing the ‘HOW’ approach to learning makes most of them easily give up on learning their books.
Another factor identified, is the over concentration or premium given to few schools in theurban sectors in relation to access to reading materials, internet, physical infrastructures, motivational exposures to students, etc. at the disadvantage of majority of schools in the remote areas and regions in Ghana. Yet, all final year candidates across the country are mandated to write the same standardised WAEC exams each year.
This he believes is the reason we have consistently been revolving almost around the same percentages of pass marks over these years.
He has therefore taken deliberate steps to empower students on learning skills and to champion positive behavioural attitudes towards learning among students across the country.
The fact is, the traditional way learning is presented to students via instilling fear, canning, insulting, etc. is outmoded hence, the need to adopt new approaches that seek to imbibe in students, the act of marshalling their thinking processes to be able to learn and understand what is being taught.
The learning strategies seminar is one of the platforms he plans using to reach all SH/T schools in the country hence, for the first time extending his services from Accra closer to the students in the Jasikan district. The program was very impactful as the resource persons missed no words in challenging students to make the best use of their minds by disciplining themselves to stay focus on their books and sacrifice anything that will not help them to achieve their academic goals at the end of the day.
They were admonished to be solution oriented thinkers, instead of complain at the least opportunity. At the end of each session books related to the theme were donated to stock the libraries of these schools. This is meant to aid students’ internalise these principles as they engage in reading them overtime.
Below are some feedbacks from some of the heads of schools and students:
In an interview with some of the participants of the programme,they have shown their excitement for bein part of the programme. Read their views below….
“Your coming is so timely, at a time management and staffs were deciding on how to motivate students to learn. I can conclusively say, this seminar is not just meant for students,but staffs also have something to learn from. Indeed, this seminar has been very beneficial to all”. -Rev. Edison Adekode. (Asst. Headmaster for Academics, Bueman SHS)
“This has been the most successful seminar in the area of learning strategies for students. We are so enlightened and we thank God for your coming”. –Mr. Divine. (Teacher, Bueman SHS)