After the backlash from teacher unions and stakeholders in the education sector over the introduction of the semester system based academic calendar, the Ghana Education Service in a bid to address the situation has invited the disgruntled teacher unions for deliberation.
The meeting is scheduled for Thursday 20th January 2022 for discussions on problems the unions have with the new system, the Ghana Education Service revealed.
“Indeed, the Ministerial Committee on Schools Calendar engaged representatives of the Unions and Schools Heads. However, we will continue to engage the Unions and other stakeholders if they have noted additional concerns since the release of the calendar.
“We wish to assure parents, students, teachers and the general public that GES will work closely with the Unions and other stakeholders to ensure that the 2022 Academic Calendar is not disrupted,” the GES assured in a statement signed by its Head of Public Affairs Unit, Cassandra Twum Ampofo.
No sooner had the Ghana Education Service (GES) introduced the semester-based academic calendar than the teacher unions asked them to immediately suspend the system it is seeking to introduce.
President for the Coalition of Concerned Teachers – Ghana (CCT-GH), King Ali Awudu complained that the unions were not consulted before the announcement of the new system, and they cannot be binding to it.
He explained that the unions are not aware of any policy document before the introduction of the new system by the GES and challenged the GES to produce the document they are alluding to that the unions know about.
“Because we, the Unions that are major stakeholders in Education, have not been consulted on any policy of transforming the trimester to semester permanently. What we know is that the trimester was introduced as a stop-gap measure for the lost as result of Covid-19 and for Senior High Schools as result of the double-track system. So we do not understand the reason why the GES want a semester permanently.
“The GES wants to introduce long hours, that even University students do not spend that long hours. Again basic schools are spending 42-weeks in a year, but SHS 3 students for example are spending less than 42-weeks. We think this is not proper and we are asking the GES to suspend this particular academic calendar. Invite all stakeholders to the table and let us negotiate because that is what our collective agreement and code of conduct says,” he added.