GES Head Public Relations, Cassandra Twum Ampofo

The Head of Public Relations at the Ghana Education Service (GES), Cassandra Twum Ampofo says the new semester system being introduced to basic schools nationwide will not affect the amount of contact hours teachers have with students.

According to her, the new system maintains the same amount of contact hours from the traditional trimester system.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, she said “You know at first when we were doing the trimester, they were actually doing 42 weeks, now they’re doing 40 weeks. And because we are trying to align that is why it seems that now it’s going to be 20 weeks and then they’ll vacate even though they have one week mid-semester in there. And then the second part will also come.”

She added that “Gradually because it’s the first time we’re going to have 10 weeks per session, they’ll break and then come again for another 10 sessions and have a week break and then we’ll end that semester.

“And so really we haven’t increased the number of weeks that they usually had before when they were doing the trimester because they had 13, at a point we run 13 weeks we came to 15 thereabout and so we haven’t really increased the number of weeks that will affect the teachers.”

She reiterated the GES’ decision to have a meeting with the Teacher Unions and other stakeholders in the education sector concerning the semester system.

“I think we really need to continue our education for them to really understand and appreciate this particular semester.”

Her comments were in reaction to backlash from Teacher Unions who say they were not consulted before the changes were made.

They are calling for the immediate withdrawal of the semester system calendar as they contend it is not best for basic schools.

However, Cassandra Twum Ampofo speaking on PM Express insisted it is the best option now.

According to her, it has become very necessary to align the basic school calendar with the Senior High and Tertiary school calendars.

She said this would help basic school teachers seek further training/educational opportunities while basic school students are on break, and it will further reduce truancy among basic school students.

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