The Ranking Member of Parliament’s Education Committee, Mr Peter Nortsoe-Kotoe, has backed calls by teacher unions for the government to reschedule the reopening date for first-year senior high school (SHS) students across the country.
Speaking on the Class Morning Show on Class 91.3 FM, Mr Nortsoe-Kotoe noted that since the introduction of the double-track system in 2018, teachers have had no rest due to the continuous stay in the classroom.
He further noted that parents who are preparing for their wards to go to school will be put under undue pressure if the reopening date of 4 December 2023 is maintained due to the short time they have to prepare for their wards to report to their various schools.
He told show host Kwame Dwomoh Agyeman that: “I support the teacher unions’ position.”
According to Mr Nortsoe-Kotoe, there is a lot of travelling risk involved if students have to report to school and after two weeks, go back home for the Christmas holidays.
“They can go to school first week of January; that is better. Now, look at even the risk that is involved; the students will go to school on the 4th then 18th they have to come back home because of the Christmas festivities; the travelling risk…” he noted.
He, therefore, expressed the opinion that the reopening date should be postponed to January 2024.
Pre-tertiary teacher unions have already expressed concerns over the due date for reporting and reopening following the release of the Computerised Schools Selection Process (CSSP) on Tuesday, 28 November 2023.
But in a letter addressed to the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES) on Wednesday, 29 November 2023, co-signed by the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Coalition of Concerned Teachers-Ghana (CCT-GH) and the Teachers' and Educational Workers' Union (TEWU), the unions noted that the announced date “appears not practicable due to the fact that, the placement and reopening dates are too close”.
According to the unions, asking Form-1 students to report to school on 4th December only for them to go home again on 21 December 2023, for the Christmas holidays, will put “undue burden on students, staff and parents”.
The unions indicated that the vacation period which spans from 21 December, 2023 to 2 January 2024 “is too limited a time to offer members of staff (both Teaching and non-Teaching) any meaningful rest”.
They, therefore, called on the management of the GES to “reconsider all these situations and effect changes to the dates”.