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The performance of candidates in English Language in public examinations has been very poor. Write a letter to the Minister of Education in your country stating the causes of the poor performance and suggesting some measures to improve the situation. (WASSCE June/July 2016)

You are expected to write at least 450 words!
You are advised to spend about 50 minutes to complete your essay.

Below is an example of WASSCE formal letter


Hamdaniyya Islamic SHS,
P.O. Box 543,
Accra – central.
26th March, 2019.

The minister,
Ministry of education,
P.O. Box 41,
Accra – Central.

Dear Sir,


I wish to draw your attention to the poor performance of candidates in the English language in public examination showing the causes of this unfortunate situation and suggesting some measures to remedy it.

English language is the instrument of communication in our post-primary institutions, higher institutions as well as the official language of the country, It has four main basic skills namely listening, speaking, reading and writing. It is the medium of instruction in our schools and a compulsory school subjects that must be passed at all levels. There are some causes of poor performance in English language.

First of all, inadequate qualified English language teachers contribute to poor performance in English language in our senior high schools. Due to the above-mentioned problem, in some schools, other subjects teachers are forced to teach English language. Some of these teachers exhibit poor ability in oral and written expression. Therefore with this kind of situation, these teachers never teach the language effectively leading to poor performance on the part of the students. It is therefore clear that inadequate qualified teachers in our senior high schools lead to poor performance in English language.

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Secondly, lack of infrastructure facility and instructional materials is regarded as another problem and a cause of poor performance in English language. Instructional materials and facilities are an important part of the process of learning as they provide practice and feedback in the learning track. In our present senior high schools, especially public ones, students in most cases sit on the floor and at windows during lessons. Other students also sit under trees or sit in dilapidated classrooms. In some schools, there are only a few classrooms and some are overcrowded. All these can not help the effective learning of English language and other subjects which lead to poor performance. In the area of instructional resources, there should be enough textbook, dictionaries and workbooks for teaching English language in schools.

Lastly, the negative attitude of students towards the learning of English language is another cause of poor performance of the students in senior high schools. Students do not cultivate the habit of reading and learning the English language. They consider it foreign and do not take it seriously. It is evident that for any student to be good at English language, the mastering of skill such as listening, speaking, reading and writing are necessarily the required hard work and dedication from students.

In conclusion, there are some suggestions and measures that should be put into practice. First of all, qualified teachers should be employed to handle the subject in all schools. Also, there should be adequate provision of instructional materials which are not available. And lastly proper supervision by both the administrators of the senior high school in Ghana and the Ministry of Education should be included, to make sure teachers of English language are actually doing what is expected of them. I hope my suggested measure will be considered. Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
Faizatu Ayuba.

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About Abdul Mannan Yusif

The author, Abdul Mannan Yusif, holds Master of Arts (African Studies) and First Class Honors in Bachelor of Arts (Study of Religions) from Islamic University College and University of Ghana, Legon. He studied Arabic at Hamdaniyyah Islamic School and holds a certificate in Early Childhood Education from National Nursery Teachers’ Training Centre Accra.
Currently, the author is the headmaster of Hamdaniyyah Islamic Senior High School and teaches Islamic Studies following years of experience of teaching the discipline at Top Accountancy School and other remedial schools respectively. The author was the vice president of the Ghana Muslim Students Association (GMSA) and the organizing secretary of the Religious Students Association both at Islamic University College Ghana.
The author’s many years of teaching Islamic Studies has convinced him that a combination of careful discussion and comprehensive presentation of the discipline will enhance the students understanding and appreciation of the historical development of Islam.

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