The erratic manner in which our senior high schools are being run under the Nana Addo NPP government must worry all well-meaning Ghanaians. Despite the boastful claim of “we have the men”, it is now clear that those managing our educational sector, especially the senior high school system, are not up to the task.
Heads of senior high schools, staff, students, parents and the general public are in a state of disbelief, and are asking why the Ghana Education Service (GES) announced that schools had to break on 28th February, 2020 via a press release, the same day the schools were asked go on break.
The press release, dated Friday February 28th, 2020, and titled SHS Semester Break, was signed by Cassandra Twum Ampofo, head of Public Relations, GES. Among others, the opening paragraph stated that “Management of the Ghana Education Service wishes to inform staff, students, parents and the general public that all Senior High Schools will go on a semester break from Friday 28th February until Wednesday, March 4th 2020”. The press release added that “this will mark the end of the semester for all students excerpt for form 2 Gold”. The content of the press release and the directives in contained thereof, raise a lot of questions that require answers.
1) Couldn’t GES have written earlier or even a week before the 28th of February 2020 to inform the heads of senior high schools that schools would/should go on a semester break on February 28th, 2020?
2) Is it not curious that GES elected to issue a press release to convey such directives to heads of senior high schools rather than formally writing to them?
3) Would it not have been helpful to the staff, students and even parents, to have known in advance that schools were to break on the 28th so that they could plan?
4) Per the GES press release dated 28th February 2020, year two (2) Gold track students will break on the 8th of May 2020 for the end of the first semester and resume only four (4) days after, on 12th May. Why must MOE/GES subject heads, teachers, students and parents to such pressure?
The lack of certainty in the academic calendar of our senior high schools has implications, negative, for effective teaching and learning. The erratic and kneejerk management of our senior high schools must stop if we believe in quality and not just quantity.
It is time Ghanaians speak out on the poor manner in which our senior high school system is being managed. Ghanaians deserve better.
Dr. Clement Apaak
M.P, Builsa South and Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament