Below is this year’s WAEC syllabus for Forestry. Note that this syllabus is for both Internal and external candidates.
The Senior High School Forestry Syllabus has been structured to assess candidates’ knowledge of forestry and forest conservation. It will also assess candidates’ knowledge and skills in forestry practices that will form the basis for sound tertiary education in forestry and also make them employable in the forestry industry and related disciplines.
AIMS OF THE SYLLABUS
The syllabus will seek, among others, to assess candidates’
(1) appreciation of the importance of forests to life;
(2) knowledge and skills in current forestry practices;
(3) understanding of the effects of population growth on forests;
(4) understanding of the causes and effects of forest degradation;
(5) understanding of the regulations governing the use of the forests and forest resources;
(6) knowledge of the functions of forestry sector institutions;
(7) basic skills in establishing and managing forest plantations;
(8) ability to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of forests.
(1) Schools offering Forestry are expected to keep demonstration plots where a variety of both indigenous and exotic forest trees are grown and maintained to develop their skills in the management of forest stands.
(2) It is recommended that students of the subject should visit forest reserves, national parks, zoos and forest plantations, forestry institutions and industries for experiential learning as part of their course work.
(3) It is also recommended that they will keep practical notebooks and specimen albums. These should contain records of activities based on laboratory, nursery and field observations to develop their documentation skills.
There will be three papers, Papers 1, 2 and 3 all of which must be taken. Papers 1 and 2 will be a composite paper to be taken at one sitting.
PAPER 1: Will consist of fifty multiple choice objective questions, all of which must be
answered within 1 hour for 50 marks.
PAPER 2: Will consist of six essay-type questions. Candidates will be required to answer four
questions within 2 hours for 20 marks each.
PAPER 3: Will be a practical paper for school candidates or alternative to practical work test for private candidates. It will consist of four questions all of which must be answered within 2hours for 60 marks.
SCOPE OF CONTENTS
Questions will be set on the topics listed in the column headed ‘content’. The notes therein are intended to indicate the scope of the questions but are not to be considered as an exhaustive list of limitations and illustrations.
INTRODUCTION TO FORESTRY
1. Basic concepts of forest and forestry.
2. Introduction to Forest
Ecology. (a) Concept of forest
(b) Forest Ecosystem
(c) Ecosystem functions
3. Ecological Zones
(a) Vegetation Zones
(b) Factors Affecting
(c) Forest Types
(i) Comparison of
(ii) Land use
(d) Major Forest Types in Relation to Latitudes.
4. Introduction to
(a) Concept of
(b) Identification of
(c) Importance of
(d) Endangered, Rare and Common Wildlife Species
(e) Wildlife Reserves
(f) Wildlife Management
5. Plant parts and Tree
(a) Plant Parts and
(b) Identification of Trees
1.Concept of Forest Estates
2. Management of Forest
3.Current State of the Forest
4. Protective Measures
(a) Forms and Causes
(b) Effects of defore-station
(c) Control of
7. Natural Regeneration
(a) Concept of natural
(b) Factors influencing
the choice of natural regeneration
(c) Succession in
(d) Intervention methods during natural regeneration
(e) Other intervention
(ii) Taungya Practices
8. Artificial Regeneration
9. Invasive Alien species
1. Plantation Development
(a) Factors influencing
(b) Plantation Planning
2. Nursery Establishment
(a) Cultural Practices
(b) Nursery Tools and Equipment
(c) Nursery Pests and Diseases
(d) Costing Nursery Establishment
3. Planting and Tending
(a) Land Preparation
(b) Seedling Planting
(c) Tending Operations
(d) Operational Costs
4. Forest Mensuration
(a) Meaning, Importance and Purpose
(b) Measuring Instruments
(c) Enumeration of Growing Stock and Sampling Methods.
HARVESTING AND MARKETING OF FOREST RESOURCES
1. Harvesting of Timber
(a) Factors to con-
(b) Procedures to
(c) Log Markings
2. Harvesting of Non-
Timber Forest Products (NTFPs)
3. Uses of Harvested
4. Harvesting of Wildlife
5. Harmful Wildlife
6. Marketing of Forest
(a) Classification of
(b) Contribution of
forest products to
(c) Demand for forest
(i) Factors affecting
demand for forest
(ii) Types of forest
by the local market
and foreign market
(iii) Differences in
demand for products
benefits and effects of demand for product
7. Marketing Agencies and
8. Forest Industries
(a) Timber Industries
and Timber Products.
(b) Career and Training
9. Establishing enterprises
2. Training and Research
3.Rights to Forest Resources
(a) Types of Rights
(b) Acquisition of Rights
(c) Violation of Rights
4. Role of Stakeholders
5. Land Tenure Systems
(a) Types of Land
(b) Role of Stools, Skins
and Central Govern-
ment in Land Ownership
(c) Land Registration
(d) Impact of Land Tenure on Land use.
6.Forest Policy and Law
(1) Cultivation of
(a) Importance and uses of mushroom
(b) Biology of mushroom
(i) Classification of fungi
(ii) Poisonous and
(iii) Commonly cultivated mushroom in West Africa
(iv) Nutrition of
(v) Life cycle of mushroom
(vi) Methods of mushroom
(viii) Harvesting of
(a) Importance of
(b) Apiary establishment
(c) Members of honey
bee colony and
(c) Management of an
(d) Maturity of colony,
harvesting and processing.
(e) Marketing of honey and other products
1.Inroduction to Wildlife
and Plant Identification.
2. Tools, Equipment and
3. Nursery practices
4. Plantation Establishment:
5. Forest Mensuration
6. Harvesting of Forest
(1) Methods of Harvesting
(2) Methods of
Products (Plants andAnimals)
7. Processing of Forest
(2) Non-Timber Forest
8. Income Generating
Candidates will be examined on the meaning of forest and forestry. Knowledge of the differences between Forestry and Agriculture in terms of land occupancy, time frame; risk etc. and the business aspects of forestry will be assessed.
The functions of the forest; types of plants in the forest (trees, shrubs, herbs, climbers, special plants); the local and botanical names of timber trees will also be assessed.
Candidates’ ability to describe plant habitats i.e. water -logged (aquatic), dry land, valley/slope, hill tops (terrestrial) and on plants (arboreal) and to name the types of plants found in the various habitats will be assessed.
Types of animals found in the forest; (birds, insects, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, snails) and characteristics of the habitats of the animals are required.
Knowledge of the characteristics of the Forest environment; its physical components; and the meaning of forest ecology is required.
The meaning of ecosystem and examples/types of ecosystem in various habitats (aquatic, terrestrial, arboreal); the major components of the ecosystem and their functions are required.
Understanding of food chains and food webs and the types of producer – consumer relationships including symbiotic associations eg. rhizobium in the various habitats in the forest environment will be assessed.
Differences between saprophytes and epiphytes are also required.
Knowlege of ecosystem functions (Regulation, supporting, cultural) will be assessed. Effects of good and degraded ecosystems on health is also required.
The characteristics of the major vegetation zones and vegetation types in West Africa will be assessed. Comparisons of the various zones in terms of differences in plant species will be required.
The typical plants and animals and their characteristics and the various plant and animal associations in the zones will be assessed.
The vegetation types are Wet-evergreen, Moist-evergreen, Moist semi-deciduous, Dry semi-deciduous, Mangroves and Savannah.
Factors affecting the distribution of vegetation namely; Climatic (rainfall and temperature), Edaphic (soil factors) and Biotic factors will be assessed.
The Distribution, Composition and Structure of Tropical High Forest (Tropical rain forest, tropical moist semi-deciduous forest), Savannah, Coastal Scrub and Grassland is required. Characteristics of virgin or primeval, secondary, natural and artificial forests are also required.
Land use practices in the different vegetation zones will be assessed.
The characteristics of the following major forest types in relation to latitude i.e. Tropical, Temperate Coniferous and Arctic forest types is required.
Understanding of the relationship between temperature and latitude in the determination of the forest types, and the knowledge of the characteristics and distribution of angiosperms and gymnosperms are required.
Understanding of the term wildlife and knowledge of wildlife resources in Ghana will be assessed.
Knowledge of the common and scientific names of wildlife species is required.
The importance of wildlife to the Socio-economy; Environment, Forestry, Tourism and Scientific research will be assessed.
Examples of the wildlife species that are Endangered (e.g. Elephants), Rare (e.g. Porcupine) and Common (e.g. grasscutter); and the reasons why the wildlife species are in those states will be assessed.
Types and examples of wildlife reserves in Ghana will be assessed.
The types of wildlife reserves are as follows:
(i) National Parks e.g. Mole, Kakum, Bui.
(ii) Game Production Reserves e.g. Shai Hills
(iii) Wildlife Sanctuaries e.g. Buabeng-Fiema, Owabi
(iv) Strict Nature Reserves e.g. Digya
The features and location of the various wildlife reserves is also required.
Management practices associated with the various wildlife reserves and zoos; and protection of game reserves against poachers will be examined.
The morphological and anatomical features of plants and their functions will be assessed. Anatomy of the leaf, stem and roots; covering tissues such as xylem, phloem, cambium, epidermis, cortex and pith is required.
Ability to identify trees using the observable
features of tree parts such as leaves, bark, buttress
and stem is required.
Knowledge of local/trade names and scientific
names and application of rubrics of scientific
nomenclature are required.
The processes for Reservation and
Constitution of a forest estate; the role of a
Reserve Settlement Commissioner; Internal and
External Pillaring and Admitted Rights.
Differences between Protected forest and Non-
protected forest is required.
Systems of Management and Development of Public and Private Estates will be examined.
Forest estate management problems such as Bushfires, Illegal farming, Illegal felling, Chain-sawing and Illegal mining and their solutions will be assessed.
Understanding of bushfires as
(i) management problem, and
(ii) management tool is required.
Knowledge of historical facts of Ghana’s forest:
area, composition of forest resources, and
population growth showing the trend of forest
depletion from the past to present; i.e. from the
beginning of the century through independence to
the current estimate of closed forest is required.
Forest resources threatened by over-exploitation and measures introduced by the
Forest Services Division to stop over-exploitation
and protect the forest resources; including
– Ban on log exports,
– Star rating of species,
– Differential stumpage fees,
– Participatory forestry,
– Yield selection and approval,
– Acquisition of permits and felling rights is
Understanding of the term deforestation; the
indicators or manifestations of deforestation in
the environment and the causes of deforestation
through human activity; bushfires, farming
activities, felling of trees for various purposes,
settlement and urbanization, etc. is required.
The effects of deforestation on
(i) Soil fertility
(ii) Animal habitat/population
Control measures such as appropriate farm practices, education, control of indiscriminate tree felling, enforcement of forest laws and regulations, appropriate harvesting and milling equipment;
and Intervention programmes such as education,
rehabilitation, afforestation and reforestation are
The meanings of reforestation, afforestation and
reafforestation and the differences between them
Understanding of silvicultural terminologies such
as silvics, silviculture, soil seed bank, shade-
demanding plants, light- demanding plants, plant
succession and forest gaps is also required.
Understanding of the concept of natural
regeneration, soil seed bank, gaps (natural) is
Factors leading to the choice of natural regeneration i.e. topography and slope, type of forest, level and extent of deforestation, occurrence of seed bearing (mother) trees will be assessed.
The stages of Succession (primary, secondary and
climatic climax) and examples of light and shade
tolerant trees are required.
When to use intervention methods such as line and spot planting to supplement natural regeneration potential of forest is required.
Advantages of natural regeneration over artificial
regeneration are also required.
The meaning of the term agro-forestry;
Knowledge and skills in carrying out agro-forestry
practices such as Agro-silviculture, alley cropping,
mulching, pruning etc. are required.
Characteristics of plants suitable for agro-forestry;
the benefits derived from practising agro-forestry
such as providing mulch (green manure), pruning
material for fodder, companion food, fire wood
from the same piece of land area; and its role in
plant nutrient recycling is required.
Knowledge of Silvo-pastoral and Agro-silvo-
pastoral practices is also required.
Understanding of the concept of Taungya, historical background, the factors/conditions that influence the choice of taungya in forest estate and the advantages and disadvantages of the practice are required.
Understanding of the concept of artificial
regeneration (forest plantations) with regard to the
use of indigenous species or exotic species in pure
or mixed stands; and the advantages and
disadvantages of the use of exotic species in
plantation development are required.
Knowledge of invasive alien plants
Aquatic: Eichlorniacrassipes (water hyacinth);
Salviniamolesta (Kariba weed), Pistiastratoites
(water lettuce), Mimosa pigra(large sensitive plant)
weed), Broussonetiapapyrifera (Pulp mulberry –
The purpose of plantation establishment and differences between plantation and natural forest is required.
Understanding of factors such as the following
that influence plantation development will be
(i) Deficit of wood for industrial and domestic use.
(ii) Level of environmental degradation.
(iii) Need to improve upon the stocking of existing tree species.
(iv) Need for specific tree type for industrial
Ability to plan and design a plantation considering
its objectives, site selection and preparation, species
selection, cost etc. is required.
The functions and importance of a nursery as a
supply source of seedlings of high quality is
required. Knowledge of types of nurseries
(permanent and flying or temporary nurseries) is
Bed preparation and other cultural practices such as
pricking out; stumping; stripling; hardening-off;
transplanting; seed collection; storage; treatment
and sowing; watering; weeding and shading will be
Knowledge of types of nursery tools and equipment such as pick-axe, shovel, rake, hoe, wheel barrow, cutlass, watering can and their uses will also be assessed.
Knowledge of nursery pests such as slugs/snails and termites; the nature of damage caused by the pests and their control is required.
Knowledge of nursery diseases, such as damping off and rust, their symptoms and control is also required.
Knowledge of various sources of cost in establishing a nursery grouped into:
(i) Direct costs: raw materials, labour and expenses for tools etc, and
(ii) Indirect costs: cost of work-related materials e.g. stationery and other consumables; maintenance costs, rent of nursery plot, will be assessed.
Ways of controlling nursery cost and record keeping will also be assessed.
Site clearing and pegging at required spacing is required.
Use of appropriate methods of planting seedlings is required.
Tending operations and the importance of each tending operation is required.
The operations required include Weeding
(complete, spot and line), Beating up, Pruning
The effects of improper tending such as poor height and diameter growth, early branching and
poor wood quality will also be required.
Knowledge of sources of operational costs
(direct and indirect costs) and their significance
in management is required.
Knowledge of kinds of records to be kept on a
plantation and the Importance of Record Keeping
is also required.
Understanding of the term forest mensuration and its importance; and the purpose of mensuration in Forestry including the comparison of current and future states of the forest, determination of quantity of trees, costing and pricing, management, etc. are required.
Knowledge of and skills in the use of tools,
instruments and equipment for forest mensuration
are required. The tools, instruments and
equipment include Haga altimeter, tape, clinometer, compass, measuring chain, ranging
poles and arrows.
Knowledge of the paramenters measured and the units of measurement in the metric system is required. Ability to determine height, diameter, girth and volume of trees is also required.
Kinds of enumeration (100%, 5%,2%) of
growing stock; sampling and sampling methods adopted in forest mensuration (selective, systematic and random sampling) is required.
Understanding of survey, kinds of survey (stock survey, strip survey and land survey) and its significance will be assessed. Knowledge of and use of conventional keys/symbols in recording botanical names of trees is required.
Factors to consider before harvesting timber; and
the pre-harvesting activities carried out will be
assessed. These include stock survey,
reconnaissance and field inspections, pre-felling
inspection and selection of trees to fell.
The procedures to follow in harvesting timber in
natural Forests and Plantations is required. These
include permit acquisition, yield approval (for
natural forest); felling, extraction and measurement.
Knowledge of how logs are marked and
interpretation of log markings; namely, property
mark, locality mark, compartment number, stock
survey number, tree number, reserve code and log
number will be assessed.
The following processes will be assessed:
Felling and cross-cutting, Hauling, Marking,
Loading and Transportation.
Knowledge of the various equipment for harvesting timber including chain-saw, hand saw, axe and cutlass and their advantages and disadvantages is required. Safety measures taken when harvesting timber such as use of safety gear, directional felling, staff training will also be assessed.
Examples of non-timber forest products including Marantaceae leaves, chewing sticks, plant medicines, canes, rafters, bush meat is required.
Knowledge of methods of harvesting NTFPs. ie. Hunting (bushmeat), Gathering (Leaves, food, snails, medicine, mushroom), Trapping (birds, bushmeat) considering the safety and sustainability of each method is required.
Common uses of forest products e.g. shelter, furniture, household utilities, artefacts, food, and medicine is required.
Knowledge of wildlife harvesting techniques namely; hunting, trapping, baiting and gathering; and the sustainability of the harvesting techniques will be assessed.
Knowledge of endangered, rare and common species and reasons for them being endangered, rare or common will be assessed
Harmful wildlife harvesting practices such as use of chemicals, fire, gin-trap and measures to control them will be assessed.
Measures aimed at reducing wildlife harvesting including training and education, sanctions and confiscation of harmful equipment, close and open hunting seasons, hunting permits and ban on night hunting required.
Classification of forest products into direct and
indirect benefits are required.
(i) Direct benefits: Timber and Non-timber forest
(ii) Indirect benefits: Non-tangible products
Contribution of forest products to income and
employment generation will be assessed.
Factors which affect demand for forest products,
– Demand spectrum of selected forest products
– Local and external markets for products
– Role of forest-based industries
– Current use is required.
Forest products demanded locally including
bushmeat, pestles, wrappers,chewing stick,
timber, mushroom, medicinal plants etc. and those
demanded by foreign market including processed
timber, medicinal plants, rattan, live animals,
animal trophies etc. will be assessed.
Reasons for differences in demand for products on
both local and foreign markets will be assessed.
– differences in taste
– differences in lifestyle
– differences in the level of economics development
– quality of produce
– availability of produce
Socio-economic benefits and effects
of demand for forest products such as increased revenue, employment opportunities and depletion of resources will also be assessed.
The various agencies involved in the marketing of forest products and their functions is required. The agencies include the following:
Wood products-GEPC, TIDD
Other products like medicinal plants, wood carving, rattan productsetc.- GEPC and other private companies.
Different types of forest industries e.g. sawmills, plywood mills, chipboard mills, their locations and sources of raw materials will be assessed.
The contribution of the forest industries to the economy with emphasis on timber processing, range of products; marketing, employment opportunities, and export earnings will be required.
Processes involved in timber processing and the products obtained namely sawn boards; ( 2 x 4, 2 x 6, 1 x 8, 1 x 12 etc.) veneer and plywood will be required.
Sawmilling equipment used in processing the timber into the products eg. bandmill, slice veneer equipment, rotary veneer equipment will also be assessed.
Forestry training institutions in Ghana and job opportunities in Forestry and forestry-related careers such as carpentry and furniture, wood carving, wood marketing and export, wood
Knowledge of the factors and resources for establishing forest enterprises is required. Factors – e.g. Identification of business opportunities in forestry, identification of a forestry product or service needed.
Resources:- land, capital, materials and structures etc.
Procedures for establishing enterprises in forestry
Functions of the Ministry responsible for forestry (Ministry of Land, Forestry and Mines) and the structures and functions of the Forestry Commission (FC) will be assessed.
Functions of the following implementing agencies will also be assessed:
Forest Services Division (FSD), Wildlife
Division (WD) and Timber Industry
Development Division (TIDD).
Roles of the following training and research institutions for improving the forest industry will be assessed : FORIG, FRNR, FFRT and WITC.
Existing rights governing the use of forest resources in Ghana will be assessed. These include Timber Utilization Contract (TUC), Timber Utilization Permit (TUP) and Salvage Permits for timber resources and Permits for non-timber forest products.
Differences between the rights will also be assessed.
Procedure for acquiring TUC, TUP and other permits is required.
Activities that violate rights (illegal activities) such as illegal felling, poaching of wildlife, encroachment (illegal farming, illegal mining) is required.
Stakeholders of forest resources and the roles they play in sustaining the forest is required.
(i) Government Sector Institutions – Forestry
Commission (WD, FSD, TIDD)
(ii) Traditional Authorities and Communities.
(iii) Non-Governmental Organisations
(iv) Forest-based industries.
Understanding of the terms; and ability to
distinguish between alienation rights and also
The major land tenure systems in Ghana: Communal, individual, leasehold etc; and the advantages and disadvantages of the systems will be assessed.
Role of stools and skins and central government in land ownership will be assessed.
The importance and the procedure for land registration will be assessed.
Effects of land tenure on land use systems e.g.
fragmentation, litigation etc. and ways to
improve the land tenure system in Ghana are
Forest and Wildlife policy and its importance e.g. Management of forest estate, production of forest industries, manpower training and research, stakeholders interest will be assessed.
Forest and Wildlife laws and their importance are also required.
Importance of mushroom i.e. economic, nutritional,
medicinal and agricultural uses of by-products will be assessed.
Classes of fungi and their characteristics with special emphasis on Basidiomycetes will be assessed.
Features of poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms; commercial and non-commercial mushroom will be assessed.
Names of; and ability to identify mushrooms that are commonly-cultivated in West Africa are required.
How mushroom obtains its nutrients or subsists on substrates/media will be assessed.
The life cycle of mushroom showing the reproduction and production cycles in mushroom is required.
The different methods used for cultivating mushroom indicating in particular the stages/steps that are followed in each of the following methods:
– local/pit method
– high bed method
– low bed method
– indoor/commercial/plastic bag method
will be assessed.
Practices involved in the production of mushroom, especially by the bag method namely;
– composting the substrate
– bagging the substrate
– sterilizing the bagged compost
– inocu lation
– cropping is required.
Ability to detect signs of maturity, techniques and precautions used when harvesting, frequency of harvest and yield of the different types of mushroom, will be assessed.
Skills in the processing and packaging of mushroom and methods of preservation such as roasting, freezing and canning are required.
Importance of beekeeping will be assessed.
Skills in the establishment of an apiary i.e. siting beehives, baiting and capturing will be assessed.
Characteristics and roles of the members of honey bee colony namely; queens, drones and workers is required.
Routine management practices and precautions to avoid harm to farmers will be assessed.
Ability to control pests and diseases of honey bees will also be assessed.
Detection signs of maturity, methods of harvesting and processing of honey, wax and other products will be assessed
Strategies for marketing honey and other products is required.
Methods and skills in identification and classification of plants and animals i.e. Wildlife:
Using observation skills to recognize wildlife through footprints, tracks, droppings, size, form, external features and prominent organs.
Using observation skills to recognize plant parts: stem form, crown shape, size, texture and arrangement of vegetative parts, colour of flower, fruit, etc. Application of conventional keys.
Knowledge of habitats of wildlife is required. The anatomy of leaves, stems and roots is also required.
Ability to identify, use and maintain tools, equipment and machinery used in forestry and wildlife management is required.
Advantages and disadvantages of using the tools are required.
Soil treatment methods, seed collection and storage, seed testing and treatment; methods of sowing and planting; and practices such as pricking-out, hardening-off and transplanting; Nursery pests and diseases and their control are required.
Ability to design a calendar for tree nursery development is also required.
Plantation design and planning, surveying and site clearing, pegging, methods of planting and cultural practices such as Thinning, Pruning, Weeding, Beating up and Record Keeping are required.
Methods and ability to determine height, diameter, girth and volume of trees and NTFPs, and angles of slopes are required.
Knowledge of units of measurement, and use of conventional symbols are also required.
Felling operations and safety measures, procedure for harvesting will be assessed.
Log markings: property mark, locality marks, compartment number, stock survey number, tree number, reserve code, log number etc. is required.
Existing harvesting practices; hunting wildlife (bushmeat), collection (snails, mushroom) Gathering (leaves, food, medicine) Trapping (wildlife); and harmful harvesting practices are required.
Ability to identify types of processed forest products e.g. samples of veneer, plywood, particle board, artefacts (wood carvings) etc. is required.
Knowledge and understanding of methods of
processing timber into the aforementioned
products are also required.
Ability to identify products such as rattan,
bamboo, mushrooms, snails, bush meat,
medicinal plants etc. and knowledge of their
processing and preservation methods and their
uses will be assessed.
Ability to identify kinds of mushroom, and
knowledge of the uses, methods of cultivation,
production, harvesting, processing and
preservation practices are required.
Ability to identify various members of bee
colony and knowledge of their roles and uses of
products are required.
Knowledge and understanding of management,
harvesting, processing and marketing activities
are also required.