Editorial: Ghana Education Service owes parents and students an apology
Recent happenings in Ghana’s educational sector concerning the reopening of schools for final year students in Senior High Schools(SHS), leave much to be desired. Many Ghanaian parents and students have been left confused after the Ghana Education Service (GES) issued a circular indicating that final year students in SHS are to report to their schools on May 5.
This was after the schools were supposed to resume this week, after a short break, but just after most students had reported to their campuses, the GES then issued a press release to postpone the reopening date, leaving most of the students who had already reported stranded.
The new development has triggered variety of reactions on both traditional and social media since no detailed explanations were given for the new directive. The GES post just noted that management had considered a proposal from the Conference of Heads of Assisted Senior Secondary Schools (CHASS) and had revised the academic calendar and added that further details would be announced later.
Obviously, the timing of the GES release was wrong considering the distance that most students had to travel to their schools.
According to reports, the news came as a big shock to some parents and guardians who had already sent off their wards to school at great cost to them, especially in this Covid-19 era in which jobs have been lost and the economy in dire straits.
It is also possible that some parents took their annual leave to coincide with their wards’ vacation from school. It is, therefore, preposterous for the GES to change the re-opening date for schools at its whims and caprices.
To The Chronicle, GES’s faux pas is unpardonable, and they, thus, owe the whole nation an apology. Apart from the economic impact on parents, the students were also at the receiving end of the blunder by the GES. The students are also likely to suffer psychological trauma seeing as they had already psyched their minds for the resumption of school and were suddenly faced with the disappointment of having to go back home.
It is to prevent these and other maladies that the GES has a planning calendar that is usually released before the beginning of the academic year.
Although we appreciate the effort of the GES to ensure that all Ghanaian children of school-going age are provided with inclusive, equitable, and quality formal education and training through effective and efficient management of resources, the Service needs to urgently do something about its communication efforts.
The Executive Director of African Education Watch, Kofi Asare, has made a clarion call, demanding better explanation from the Ghana Education Service; The Chronicle believes the call is in the right direction.
The implementation of the Free Senior High School policy is no doubt an ambitious programme that any government can ever embark upon. It is, therefore, incumbent on the Ghana Education Service, which is responsible for its implementation, to up its game.