The Ministry of Education has reversed its decision on the major policy change of trimester academic calendar to a semester calendar for basic schools in the country.
This comes after protests by various stakeholders, including four unions in the education sector. The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Coalition of Concerned Teachers-Ghana (CCT-GH) and Teachers and Education Workers Union (TEWU) had insisted they were not consulted before the policy was announced.
The Ministry last week announced the introduction of the semester-based system in place of the trimester one.
In a statement jointly released by the four groups, they indicated that such a major policy change should have attracted a wide consultation.
The statement noted that the “hours workers in Education require to work per day and per week have been a bother to Unions, especially when instructional and working hours, have been increased unilaterally without discussions and negotiations, especially with the Unions in Education.”
It added: “Per our Collective Agreement with regards to our working Conditions, major policies such as this should come for discussion and negotiation and as Educators and speaking from a professional point of view, through discussion will bring to the fore the effects of a long school calendar on both teaching and learning and also on the health of both workers and learners.”
The groups saw the decision taken to unilaterally change the school calendar into a semester one as arbitrary and an imposition by the GES on major stakeholders in the education sector.
“We therefore call on GES to immediately withdraw the policy, pending full consultations with the Unions in Education and other stakeholders, and do serve notice that failure to do so would be resisted fiercely,” they had warned.
Meanwhile, a statement signed by the Press Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Felix A. Baidoo, announced on Friday that the decision had been reversed.
“It may be recalled that, the Ministerial Committee on School Calendar issued a calendar for the current academic year indicating that Kindergarten to Junior High School was to be based on the Semester system. Following the directive to commence the System, the Ministry has received representation from a section of the public and key educational stakeholders to re-instate the Trimester system,” part of the statement read.
The statement added: “After further consultation on the issue, the Honourable Minister for Education has directed that the calendar for Kindergarten to Junior High School for the current academic year should be reverted to the Trimester system.”
The Ministry of Education has, consequently, announced a new date for the academic calendar of the basic schools.
The basic schools’ pupils will now be in school from January to April 14 for the first term and resume on May 10 to August 18 for the second term. The third term will begin from September 13 to December 22, 2022.