General News Wed, 19 Jan 2022

New academic semester calendar will not be changed – Deputy education minister

Ministry of education announces new academic calendar for public schools

Teacher unions raise concern over semester system for public schools

Sufficient consultations were conducted ahead of new calendar introduction, says deputy education minister

The deputy minister for education, Reverend John Ntim Fordjour, has affirmed that the newly introduced academic calendar will not be changed.

The ministry of education ahead of the commencement of a new academic year for public schools announced a new calendar modeled on a semester basis.

However, the announcement has been met with various concerns and criticisms including some teacher unions who have called for the reversal of the new system.

But speaking on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, edition of Adia Akye Abia on Okay FM, the deputy minister emphasized that the new calendar has come to stay.

“The calendar is efficient and we are not going to change it. It is what we are going to work with. It will stand the test of time; it will be beneficial and useful to everyone at the end of the day,” he stated.

The deputy minister further parried concerns of a lack of consultation on the part of the government but indicated that government is willing to further engage any group or individual with concerns.

“If they have any further suggestions, they can come for us to sit and discuss as we always do. The back and forth on the media will not help. But then I would want to emphasize that they were adequately and sufficiently consulted. They were the ones that called for the semester system because it will help them,” he stated.

The teacher unions reacting to the announcement of the semester calendar in a press release raised reservations about the new semester calendar for public schools.

“The attention of the Unions in Education has been drawn to a document in the public domain purported to have changed from a trimester to a semester academic calendar by the GES,” the press release by the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana (CCT-GH) and the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) on Monday, January 17 opened.

“Such a major policy change should have attracted a wide consultation and therefore find both the pronouncement and the document offensive and takes exception to them.”

The unions argued that the new system among other downsides exponentially leads to an increase in contact hours, contrary to their collective agreement.

“The Unions in Education sees the decision taken to unilaterally change the school calendar into a semester one as arbitrary and an imposition by the GES on major stakeholders of which the Unions in Education are part,” they said in the joint press release.

“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.”
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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