GES never consulted us on change to permanent semester system for basic and secondary schools – Eduwatch

ges never consulted us on change to permanent semester system for basic and secondary schools eduwatch
Mr kofi Asare Executive Director Africa Education Watch

The Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch) has dismissed claims that it was consulted by the Ghana Education Service (GES) regarding the new academic calendar for basic and secondary schools in the country.

Eduwatch, in a press statement dated January 17, noted that GES Director-General, Dr. Kwabena Bempah Tandoh is reported to have mentioned that “Eduwatch was consulted by GES in the decision to make the semester system permanent.”

But according to Eduwatch, this is untrue because it got to know about the new arrangement after accessing GES’s Facebook page; adding that Parliament was also not consulted.

“For the records, at no point was Eduwatch or its Executive Director ever consulted by GES/MOE in taking such a decision. Like all other citizens, we were only informed through GES’s Facebook page.

The culture of confusing information without consultation in the education sector must end,” the group added.

Eduwatch argued that a critical systemic decision such as changing a 3-term academic calendar system should not be one taken by the GES or Ministry of Education Committee.

It further explained that the semester system was only introduced to mitigate a challenge posed by the double-track system, hence cannot be used as a yardstick by the Service.

“The lessons from the 3- year vs 4-year SHS duration tango which affected our education system during the Kufuor-Mills era must remind us of the relevance of building broad stakeholder consensus on such key systemic decisions.

While we appreciate the need to harmonize the pre-tertiary calendar, the semester system cannot be used as the yardstick for harmonization, since it is only an adhoc measure that emerged out of a Double-Track challenge the government has been working to fix through various SHS infrastructural expansion interventions.”

According to Eduwatch, by next year, secondary schools will resume a single-track system as 80 per cent of projects to accommodate more students would have been completed.

Eduwatch therefore, demanded that the GES rescinds the decision to make the semester system permanent.

“..we shall revert to the traditional 3-term pre-tertiary calendar. Eduwatch believes that the semester system emerged with the Double-Track, and not at the back of any proven, unsurmountable challenges with the 3- term system.

On this basis, it is only logical that the semester system leaves along with the Double-Track. There is no need to alter the traditional 3-term system,” Eduwatch stressed.