Towards effective administration of Art Departments in selected Senior Secondary Schools in Kumasi

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According to UNESCO (1996) a rapid expansion in education was felt across African States after independence. Unfortunately, the focus was more on literacy and academic knowledge. In Ghana it became obvious particularly after the Dzobo Committee report of 1971 that the educational system was mainly academic, which resulted in the production of unskilled and unemployable school leavers. The education reform, which began in 1987, is intended to reverse the situation by providing opportunities for vocational education, which is directly relevant to the life of the learner as well as to society as a whole. In this regard the education reform places special emphasis on relevance of the learning content and its application to life. Vocational education in the reforms comprises Agriculture, Business, Technical, Home Economics and Visual Arts. The new concept of visual arts in the education reform is an orientation towards employment-related activities. In the Senior Secondary School (SSS) the primary aim of the visual arts is to develop the students’ ability to think, feel and act creatively with visual materials. Despite the noble ideals stipulated in the reforms many people complain about ineffectiveness with regards to supervision and monitoring of teaching and learning processes in the visual arts. This study therefore sought to investigate the problems affecting the administration of the visual arts in selected SSS in Kumasi and to make recommendations for improvement. In conducting this research, the researcher employed descriptive and evaluative approaches of research. The descriptive research involved the description, recording, analysis and interpretation of conditions that exist in the administration of Visual Arts (VA) departments. While the evaluative research involved the determination of the effectiveness of the administration of VA in relation to the ideals enshrined in the SSS visual ails syllabus. The research instruments used included observation, interview and questionnaire which stimulated the collection of primary source of data. Relevant literature on the study was reviewed and this constituted the secondary source of data. The facilities that were used in the collection of primary and secondary data included: The eight selected SSS’ in Kumasi, Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ghana Education Service (GES) Offices in Kumasi. Libraries visited included the Kwame University of Science and Technology, (KNUST) Main Library, College of Art and Art Education Department Libraries all in KNUST. Others were the University College of Education, Winneba, Kumasi Campus (UCEW.K) Library, the British Council Library and Dr. Nyarkoh’s Library all in Kumasi. Findings of the research were analysed, classified and interpreted into statistical tables, bar charts and pie charts. The findings confirmed the inadequacy in the supervision and monitoring of teaching and learning processes in the VA. It was also realised that there is poor supervision of practical examination in the VA by West Africa Examination Council (WAEC). The research also identified that acquisition of skills by VA students in the schools visited was a little above average. Other findings from the research included the following: • Poor record keeping on the part of some heads of visual arts departments in the SSS. • Bias towards Science in the provision of logistics by MOE, GES and Heads of SSS. • Selection of students with poor grades at the Basic Education Certificate Examination BECE) into the VA programme. • Non-availability of VA resource centres and VA coordinators in the MOE and the GES. The research has brought to light that there is lack of commitment on the part of the MOE, the GES and other stakeholders towards the administration and development of the VA programme. Finally, the study made recommendations for the enhancement of the administration and development of visual arts in the SSS. These included, the provision of visual arts resource centres in every district in Ghana, the inclusion of industrial attachment in the VA syllabus in the SSS and the provision of effective supervision of practical examinations by WAEC to mention a few.
A thesis presented to the school of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the Degree of Master of Arts in Art Education, 2001