The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Education Committee, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe says the Minority group in Parliament does not support the introduction of the semester system for the pre-tertiary level in the country.

According to him, the semester system is not workable in the pre-tertiary sector and it is not suitable for the health of students and teachers.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe said the policy does not seem well thought through and thus the Education Ministry and the Ghana Education Service should reinstate the trimester system.

He said, “The policy must be well thought through and people must be brought together to make sure that the policy can stand the test of time. And different persons must be put together.

“The tenure committee that came out with this syllabus, I don’t know if there were persons on it that studied psychology and then knew that the child at that level of running a semester will not be able to acquire the needed knowledge within time.”

He added that “Because the semester as it stands, is mainly successful at the tertiary level. And with the semester programme you go for your lectures, you can even have two hours in a day or four hours maximum six hours and you don’t teach continuously.

“But at the basic level, the child is expected to come to school at 7:30 and close at 3:30, what type of fatigue is that? Even with the teacher, how is the teacher going to manage his time?  So as the Minority, we are saying that it’s not good for the health of the students or the child and it’s not good for the health of the teacher.”

He further noted that research has shown that students experience fatigue after 11 weeks of active school activities and thus are unable to absorb whatever is being taught.

“So what happens is that there is lateness to school, there is absenteeism, that one you cannot run away from it,” he said.

Again, the NDC MP said “teachers are also human beings, they’re not robots, they need time to rest and prepare their lesson note or lesson plan, mark exercises, do assessment, do review before coming to class.

“So if you want to put too much pressure on the teacher that he should cover 20 weeks continuously then that will not help the teacher.”

He thus called on the Education Ministry to rescind its decision and return to the tried-and-tested trimester system.

“What research has the Ministry done to tell us that these are the effects that the trimester is having so we want to introduce a semester? In any case we were told that the Junior High Schools did the semester because they wanted to cover what they had lost in 2020 because of the Covid. And I can tell you, reports are there, that that tactic did not go down well.

“Teachers attested to the fact that they were fatigued, the children were fatigued, it was difficult for them to continue effective teaching and these are some of the reasons why we are of the view that we don’t have to import anything and impose on the Ghanaian system which we know,” he said.

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