The head of Public Relations at the Ghana Education Service (GES), Cassandra Twum Ampofo, says parents were not directly consulted with regard to the new academic calendar.
She explained that before the calendar was drafted, they engaged stakeholders such as the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS).
According to her, once CHASS was involved, the assumption was that parents would also be engaged or consulted at the local levels for a better understanding of the calendar.
“You see when we meet CHASS, they do not come in only their capacity, they have their various parental meetings and so they channel those concerns to us”
“We don’t specifically meet parents for the release of an academic calendar, it is CHASS that we meet knowing very well that CHASS also meets the parents in the various schools, so when we meet the leadership of CHASS and then we also meet the leadership of the union, then we know that there is a fair representation and that is how it’s been over the years”, she said.
Speaking on Prime Morning, Cassandra Twum stated that the new changes in the academic calendar were due to the concerns raised by teachers to go back to the old system which began in September and ended in July.
“So with the stakeholder engagement and meeting with the teacher union, the concerns of the teachers are that we need to go back to the old structure so that at least when school vacates in July, they have their whole summer, August and sometimes first, second week in September before school reopens so they have five-six weeks to be able to do whatever they want to do”
“And so with that and many other justifications we had to agree”, She said this on Wednesday, February 15, 2023.
Speaking in the same interview, Country Director for International Child Development Program, Joyce Larnyoh mentioned that she was confused about CHASS channelling the concerns of parents because she believes CHASS does not have the mandate to effectively address Parents.
Joyce said that government may want to bring these new changes to potentially reverse the double track system into the original single track but these changes may have negative impacts on school children and parents, especially in these hard economic times.
The Country Director, therefore, pleaded with government to put certain measures in place to mitigate the negative impacts of this change and advised that since parents are major stakeholders, government must do its maximum best to engage them as much as possible.
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