Education Minister Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum
Education Minister Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum

Education Think Tank, Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch), is backing teacher unions opposing the new semester-based academic calendar introduced by the Ghana Education Service (GES).

They argued that, there is nothing wrong with the traditional three-term pre-tertiary calendar to warrant a change from the status quo.

On January 14, 2022, the GES announced the introduction of a semester-based academic calendar for all basic schools.

However, some unions in the basic education sector want GES to immediately withdraw the new policy changing the trimester to a semester-based academic calendar for broader consultation.

The unions, consisting of NAGRAT, GNAT, TEWU and CCT-GH, in a joint statement, said they will fiercely resist the policy if the government fails to withdraw its decision.

In support, Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, said making the semester system permanent will affect productivity.

Though he supported government’s decision for the semester system in Senior High Schools (SHS) due to Double-Track, he said replicating it in basic schools will be counter-productive.

Mr Asare said the semester system cannot be used as the yardstick for harmonization, since it is only an adhoc measure that emerged out of a Double-Track challenge the government has been working to fix through various SHS infrastructural expansion interventions.

He hinted that, by next year, secondary schools will resume a single-track system as 80 per cent of projects to accommodate more students would have been completed.

Mr Asare feared government’s arbitrary policy making without the necessary consultations with stakeholders will cause a lot of problems in the education sector.

As pupils in basic schools return to school on January 18, he appealed to government to rescind the decision.