National educational reform programmes and its perceived impact on development of secondary school social studies curriculum in ghana
1.1 Background of the study
From the 1960s to the present, Ghana’s educational system has undergone a series of changes in an effort to reorganize the sector’s mission to suit the country’s requirements. As a consequence of changes in education policy by succeeding administrations, such reforms have been feasible. These changes seem to be the result of successive administrations’ unhappiness with the inherited educational system, their desire to keep promises made in their party manifestos, or the lack of a national education strategy in the country. Since the country’s independence in March 1957, this has been shown by the creation of many reforms and review bodies. Ghana’s educational system has progressed significantly since independence. Ghana’s current educational environment is the consequence of significant policy efforts implemented by previous and current administrations. The Education Act of 1961; The Dzobo Report of 1973 (Recommended the JSS Concept); The New Structure and Content of Education 1974; The Education Commission Report on Basic and Secondary Education 1987/88; The New Education Reform Programme 1987/88; The University Raising Programme 1987/88; The University Raising Programme 1987/88; The University Raising Programme 1987/88; The University Raising Programme 1987/88; The University Raising Programme 1987/88; The University Raising Programme 1987/88; The University Raising Programme These efforts have not only aided in the structural transformation of the education system, but they have also significantly increased access, quality teaching and learning, infrastructure delivery, and management efficiency (http://www. Modernghana.com). Nonetheless, Tanoh (2009) thinks that the quest for Ghana’s “perfect” education system has remained elusive despite these efforts. It’s worth noting that just a handful of these educational legislation, programs, and studies target secondary school education needs. “A strategy, program, or movement that seeks to bring about a systematic change in educational theory or practice throughout a community or society,” according to the definition of educational or education reform (Tanoh, 2009,). Despite the fact that Social Studies was included in the 1972 Educational Committee report, the New Educational Reform Program, which began in 1987, led to its inclusion in the school curriculum throughout the country. However, in the early 1940s, three teacher training institutions, namely the Presbyterian Training College, Akropong; the Wesley College, Kumasi; and the Achimota Training College, Accra, experimented with Social Studies before introducing it to the general education system. Effective teaching and learning of Social Studies at the senior high school level in Ghana began in 1998 as a core subject, after its trial and national adoption at the junior secondary school level in the late 1970s and 1987, respectively (Cobbold, 1999). According to the Ghana Education Service (GES), social studies is taught to help students: be aware of the components of society and their roles and responsibilities; understand the impact of social problems on individuals; develop social and interpersonal skills for solving personal and societal problems; and develop critical and analytical skills for evaluating information. It was also intended to assist students in gaining knowledge about their roles and responsibilities in protecting and maintaining society and the environment; appreciating the importance of a positive self-concept and good interpersonal relationships; developing the ability to adapt to the developing and ever-changing Ghanaian society; acquiring the necessary skills to help them reach their full potential; delegating responsibility to others; and developing a positive self-concept and good interpersonal relationships.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Ghana’s education system has undergone a number of evaluations and changes, including the establishment of the four-year senior high school system by the New Education Commission in 1986. These evaluations and changes are aimed at improving the country’s educational quality in order to achieve national development goals. These have allowed Ghana to identify weaknesses in its educational system and the provision of high-quality education. However, the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition claims otherwise. The Education Act of 1961, the Dzobo Report of 1973, the New Structure and Content of Education 1974, the Education Commission Report on Basic and Secondary Education 1987/88, the Education Reform Programme 1987/88, and the University Rationalization Committee Report have all been used to try to meet the nation’s educational needs or desires. These changes were generally seen as a means of hastening the execution of Ghana’s government’s development goals and programs. However, the execution of these reform efforts did not seem to be focused on the long-term goal of making education more relevant to Ghana’s world of work, as well as the country’s economic growth and modernization (Agbemabiese, 2007). Environmental Studies, which included Social Studies, was the first cycle curriculum suggested by the Education Advisory Committee [EAC] on the proposed New Structure and Content of Education (1972). (including elements of geography, history, economics, sociology and civic education). The committee also suggested that Social Studies be made a mandatory topic in technical institutions’ curricula. Social Studies, which includes aspects of history, geography, sociology, social psychology, and religious studies, was once again designated as part of the secondary comprehensive curriculum. Following the 1987 educational reform, the topic of Social Studies was made an obligatory subject in elementary schools and an optional in teacher education institutions throughout the country. The reform emphasized the importance of social studies education in senior secondary schools, among other things. Thus, the social science section of the senior high school, or senior secondary school, curriculum includes: Social Studies Studies (Educational Commission, 1987). The committee, on the other hand, provided no provisions for effective secondary school teaching of the topic. The topic should be taught as a mandatory subject in the senior high school curriculum, according to the 2002 educational review report. The study also suggested that the Ministry of Education, Science, and Sport create Social Studies textbooks, since the lack of textbooks hinders students’ comprehension, appreciation, and increased involvement with the topics. Though Ghana has undertaken and executed a number of educational reform programs, little or no effort has been made to assess the effect of these changes on the senior high school Social Studies curriculum and its outcomes.
1.3 Objective of the study
The primary objective of the study is as follows
- To examine the role of social studies in the Senior High School Curriculum
- To examine the impacts of these educational reforms on the development of the senior high school Social Studies Curriculum
- To examine factors that affect effective implementation of the various reforms in Social Studies Curriculum
- To investigate the measures that can contribute to the effective implementation of educational reforms in Social Studies Curriculum?
1.4 Research Questions
1.What is the role of Social Studies in the Senior High School Curriculum?
- What are the impacts of these educational reforms on the development of the senior high school Social Studies Curriculum?
- What are the factors that affect effective implementation of the various reforms in Social Studies Curriculum?
- What are the measures that contribute to effective implementation of educational reforms in Social Studies Curriculum?
1.5 Significance of the study
The research will be beneficial in a variety of ways. In the field of Social Studies curriculum for senior high schools, it will be helpful to scholars, instructors, the government, and curriculum creators. The study’s findings will inform educational administrators on how to organize refresher courses, seminars, and workshops for tutors on national policies in order to achieve the goals of education through effective implementation of these policies in Ghana, particularly the senior high school Social Studies Curriculum. The research will also help the government in determining the effect of different educational reform programs in the nation.
1.6 Scope of the study
The study will examine National Educational Reform Programme and its perceived impact on Development Of Secondary School Social Studies Curriculum in Ghana and also, examine the role of social studies in the Senior High School Curriculum. And examine the impacts of these educational reforms on the development of the senior high school Social Studies Curriculum.furthermore, examine factors that affect effective implementation of the various reforms in Social Studies Curriculum. And finally,investigate the measures that can contribute to the effective implementation of educational reforms in Social Studies Curriculum. Hence will be delimited to teachers of the selected secondary schools in Ghana.
1.7 Limitation of the study
This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:
just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data
Financial constraint , was faced by the researcher ,in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires
Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher
1.8 Definition of terms
Educational reform: any planned changes in the way a school or school system functions, from teaching methodologies to administrative processes.
Curriculum: the subjects comprising a course of study in a school or college.
Agbemabiese, P. G. E. (2007). Emerging themes in educational reforms inGhana as seen through education reforms in the United States.Unpublished doctoral thesis, Ohio State University, Ohio.
Cobbold, C. (1999). Implementation of the social studies curriculum inteacher training colleges in Ghana: An evaluation. Unpublishedmaster’s thesis, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast. Education
Education Commission (1986). Report of the education commission on basiceducation. Accra: Ministry of
Tanoh, S. (2009). The unending cycle of education reform in Ghana (Electronic version); Journal of Educational Research in Africa, 1,45 -54. Retrieved March 15, 2012, from:http//www.docstoc.com/docs[email protected].
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