The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) says the reversal of the semester system academic calendar to the trimester system for basic schools is in the best interest of the pupils.
The decision by the Ghana Education Service to change the trimester system to the semester academic calendar received strong opposition from teacher unions and other major stakeholders over a lack of adequate consultation.
Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition has explained that the opposition has largely been based on the limited resources available to schools to make the long contact hours effective.
Speaking on the sidelines of GNECC’s annual meeting in the Ashanti Region, the National Coordinator for GNECC, Isaac Yeboah Boateng noted that the semester academic calendar would be stressful for the pupils since the schools do not offer other engaging and exciting activities outside classroom works.
“We had some concerns because of how our schools for instance are not too equipped. When I say schools, I’m making reference to our public schools. They are not equipped with what you’d require to keep kids in school. To keep them in school for such long stretches might be disadvantageous to the children, and so we are very happy that the Minister and his team reconsidered their positions on the semester and rather reverted to the trimester system. I believe that all of this is in the best interest of the Ghanaian child to ensure that we do not introduce fatigue. We allow the children to develop and have the best learning outcomes that we would wish for.”
The National Coordinator further called on the government to provide some incentives to teachers who are posted to rural communities. He believes this will encourage more teachers to stay when they are posted there.
“I believe that Ghana does not have an issue with teachers. It’s got to do with the posting, then placement of teachers and so in that regard I believe that if teachers could be given incentives to accept postings to rural areas, for instance, it will be a huge boost to the gap and problems that we face with education in rural areas. I think that if there are initiatives by the ministry of education to house teachers within those rural areas, it would have encouraged them to do a lot more training. Clearly, we are in a new dispensation, and we are talking a lot about digitisation. I think it will be in the best interest of teachers to receive enough training to be abreast with changing trends in teaching,” Isaac Yeboah Boateng said.
National Chairman for GNECC, Joseph Atsu Homadzi on his part, called on the government to invest more resources in the education of children with disabilities to ensure a better outcome as well as improve all-inclusiveness.
“Implementation of inclusive education in Ghana must be enhanced. More resources must be made available so that children with special needs can also benefit from the system… So we are saying that the budgetary allocation for inclusive education must be increased so that more resources will be made available for successful implementation of inclusive education in Ghana for children with special needs,” said the National Chairman, Joseph Atsu Homadzi.