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I think it was a bit rushed – Nana Akomea on reopening of schools

Nana Akomea

During an interview on the Big Issue on TV3 on Tuesday, December 5, the Managing Director of the State Transport Company (STC), Nana Akomea, expressed his opinion that the reopening of schools was done hastily. He stated, “I think it was a bit rushed.” However, the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, disagrees with this viewpoint.

He told Parliament that enough measures were put in place to prepare students and parents in advance for the reopening of senior high schools. He stated that for the first time, the Ministry of Education, with its relevant agencies and stakeholders developed a national harmonized prospectus for all SHSs and Technical and Vocational Education and Training  (TVET) students.

This, he said, was published in the Daily Graphic on November 15 2023 to, among other things, give parents ample time to buy the prospectus items and get their wards ready for school on December 4 2023.

Briefing Parliament on the concerns raised about the reopening of schools on Monday, December 4, the Bosomtwe Lawmaker said “Mr Speaker, a couple of initiatives this year have made it more convenient for parents and students to prepare for school opening. At the time of placement release, 477, 772 candidates representing 81.56% of the students who qualified for placement were automatically laced. compared to last year’s 372,780  representing 69 .24%. So when the placement was released less than 19 percent had to go on the portal and look for a school this year, last year it was 30 percent plus. that to go and look for their own schools.

“Given that over 81 percent of the candidates were automatically placed based on their choice, it cannot be said that a lot of placements are yet to be remedied because some candidates have been placed out of the region they reside.

“For the first time, the Ministry of Education with its relevant agencies and stakeholders developed a national harmonized prospectus for all SHS and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students, the same was published in the Daily Graphic on November 115 2023. The purpose of the publication was among other things to give parents ample time to buy the prospectus items and get their wards ready for school on December 4 2023.”

Senior High School students are reporting today Monday, December 4. The Ghana Education Service (GES) announced to the general public that the reopening date was December 4 as indicated on the placement form. This was despite the concerns raised about the date.

The GES said it is the expectation of Management that schools begin registration and orientation of students from today December 4. It added that per the academic calendar, there would be a Christmas break on the 21st of December, 2023 and resume on the 3rd of January, 2024 to continue academic work till 5th March, 2024.

“Management urges all students yet to do their Self-placement to do so as quickly as practicable. We appreciate all stakeholders for collaborating and supporting the CSSPS process to this point. We continue to ask for your patience to ensure the academic calendar for SHS is implemented without hitches to get back to the pre-COVID academic calendar,” a statement said.

This comes at a time  Parliament told the Minister of Education  Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum to reschedule the date for the start of academic works at the senior high schools to January. In the view of the House, this will allow parents, students, and teachers enough time to prepare.

Despite concerns about the short period students have to prepare before reporting to school,  the Ministry of Education on Thursday, November 30, insisted that the reopening date for fresh Senior High School students remained  December 4, 2023 as contained in the 2023/2024 academic calendar released by the GES.

A statement by the Parliamentary Service noted that “due to the short notice with its attendant inconvenience to students, parents, teaching and non-teaching staff, the House proposes for the consideration of the Hon. Minister of Education the first week of January 2024 as a more convenient and appropriate time for parents, students and teachers to adequately prepare for academic work.”

The Parliamentary Service in the statement dated Friday, December 1, added “In view of the urgency of this matter and various concerns raised by Members of Parliament and other stakeholders, the Rt. Hon Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has directed the Minister of Education to appear before the House and brief Members on Monday, December 4, 2023, at 12:30 pm.

By: Laud Nartey

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