GES, teacher unions dialogue over semester calendar for pre-tertiary schools

The Management of the Ghana Education Service and representatives of the various teacher unions in the country have both agreed to further engage in order to come to a common understanding on the implementation of the new school calendar for basic schools.

The agreement followed a meeting of the service and the unions to discuss concerns raised by the unions against the new calendar.

Present at the meeting were the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Professor KwasiOpoku-Amankwa and other management members, representatives of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Concerned Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG).

Briefing the Ghanaian Times in Accra after the meeting, Professor Opoku-Amankwa said though inclusive, the general consensus was for the parties to meet again sometime next week to further deliberate and come to an agreement.

He explained that the meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere where the unions were allowed to spell out their concerns.

Similarly, the service also took time to explain the rational and importance for the introduction of the new calendar.

Prof.Opoku-Amankwa said both parties after having listened to the issues and explanations agreed to meet once again to end discussions on the new calendar.

Following the decision to introduce the semester system of calendar at the primary level of the country’s educational system, members of the various teacher unions raised concerns about the introduction of the new system.

This led to the GES inviting them to the table to further deliberate on the issue and address their concerns.

The new school calendar stipulates that all schools at the pre-tertiary level were now to undertake the semester system thus scrapping the trimester system from the school calendar.

As a response to the concerns raised around contact and work hours, the design of the new 2022 academic calendar considered the request of the teacher unions by reverting to the previously 40-week calendar.

However, Management of the GES values the importance of professional development in education so the GES would continue to ensure that teachers would have the one hour a week allocation every Wednesday forProfessional Learning Communities (PLCs).

Teachers would also continue to have the dedicated period for Continuous Professional Development Days (CPDDs) even though the number of weeks in school has been reduced to 40 weeks.

BY CLIFF EKUFUL

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