Teacher unions kick against GES semester-based academic calendar

Teacher unions kick against GES semester-based academic calendar

 The change effected by the government in the academic calendar for basic schools from a trimester based one to a semester-based one has not gone down well with the teacher unions as they have kicked against it.

The unions which consist of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National  Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Teacher and Education Workers Union(TEWU) and Concerned Teachers Ghana(CCT-GH) expressed how they felt disrespected by the government for going ahead to take such a decision without consulting and deliberating with them.

“We state emphatically that at no point in time were the Unions in Education consulted on such a major policy decision…Per our Collective Agreement with regard to our working conditions, major policies such as this should come for discussion and negotiation,” they said in the statement.

The unions in enumerating the issues they have with such a move complained that it will lead to a long school calendar and will have a negative effect on the health of pupils and education workers.

They consequently called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to immediately withdraw the plan or risk having them fiercely resist it.

“We, therefore, call on the GES to immediately withdraw the policy, pending full consultations with the Unions in Education and other major stakeholders and do serve notice, that failure to do so would be resisted fiercely,” they said.

After Ghanaians expressed concern about the delay in bringing out the academic calendar, the Ghana Education Service finally announced the introduction of a semester-based academic calendar for public Kindergarten, Primary, and Junior High Schools.

The GES in defending the semester-based calendar said the new system will help ease pressure on teachers, decongest the various schools, and help align academic calendars.

Also, some other stakeholders and civil society organizations have already kicked against the move, saying that it is unrealistic and will be mentally draining.

Others were also disappointed about the fact that the government failed to consult them, but the Deputy Director-General for Quality and Access of the Ghana Education Service, Dr Kwabena Tandoh debunked that, saying all stakeholders were consulted and duly agreed with the plan before its announcement.

 According to the new academic calendar, continuing students in second-cycle schools will be heading back to school on February 7, 2022.

The Ghana Education Service also indicted that, first-years have a tentative reopening date of April 4, 2022.

Also, all students in basic schools will return to school on January 18.

 Read the joint statement from the unions below 

statement by teacher unions on semester-based calendar

By: Stella Annan | myactiveonline.com Twitter @activetvgh

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