The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) is pleading with the Ghana Education Service (GES) to make changes to the new academic calendar for schools released recently.
The Local Secretary for Kotobabi District, Gideon Pappoe, and the Chairman for Accra Metro West District of the Association, William Yitah, who have been speaking onJoy Prime’s Prime Morning indicated that there was no consultation before the changes.
The teachers, they said, got the information like everyone else after the calendar was published.
According to them, the current rest days for teachers are not adequate. Their concern is that it will cause a lot of stress and tiredness, thus reduce productivity in class.
Speaking to the host, Roselyn Felli, Mr. Pappoe said, “If you look at this calendar, the vacation is like ten or nine days. Was the strike the teachers had about the Director General legit? About him being a professional, an educationist or coming from another place. I believe a proper consultation should have been done because teachers are also stakeholders in education.”
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“What goes on during vacation? Every good teacher sits down and does evaluations and analysis of each student. So at the end of the first term, I have to look at each student’s challenges and positives and know how to plan myself for the next term. Now, I have nine days to do that. You have a class of about 60 or 70, and you have nine days to do that. You also have to rest and spend time with the family. Are nine days enough? Are parents ready to take their kids back to school after nine days?” He quizzed.
He suggested that the previous 25 rest days, despite being less than a month, were a bit sufficient for the teachers.
He also opined that there could be more consultations concerning the amendments before their publication. He thinks there can be a two-year plan to gradually wipe off the new system.
“If it has to get to a point whereby we have to cut one term off to go by the system, it is done. It’s our education system; it can be structured in a way to fit in,” he said.
Adding his opinion to the teachers’ strike about the director-general issue, the Accra Metro West District Chairman of the Association indicated that “it’s not about his competence but the nature of the job that he’s tasked to do. He needs to have an in-depth knowledge of what really goes on in the GES.”
He cautioned the GES not to appoint people who are not professional educators to lead the sector.
As to whether the new calendar will help improve the students’ academics, he said, “It will have an untold hardship on even the children themselves.”
He further revealed that the pressure from GES is having a ripple effect on teachers, as most of them are facing health challenges and even death.
Although the Association is not against the reintroduction of the old academic calendar, they believe it can be done gradually instead of in a rush.
Even though the Association is not satisfied with the changes, Mr. Yitah said “they will manage it with pain” in order to help the students.
Meanwhile, the chairman has notified the public that the Association is putting measures in place to appeal to the GES to make changes to the new calendar.Click Here To Check For More Information