In what has sparked wild consternation, the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has described the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s achievement in the education sector as better than what Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah achieved.
“Not even Kwame Nkrumah achieved what we have done”, he said at the handing over ceremony of an AstroTurf pitch to his constituents in Manhyia South Constituency.
The Minister said the Free Senior High School (FSHS) of the Akufo Addo administration is the magic bullet that has solved Ghana’s education problem than the much revered Nkrumah could ever achieve.
“Free Education is a project in evolution. We have done well under the leadership of his Excellency the President. The third-year students of the Free SHS programme are in school. Generally, we haven’t heard anything, but when you live in Accra and Kumasi, you will think that things are falling apart,” he said in response to criticisms about the nibbling problems associated with the policy.
Indeed, hardly had NAPO finished his boast than the Ghana Education Service (GES) unprecedentedly announced that it has pushed back the resumption date for senior high school students currently on mid-term vacation.
The students were to return to school on Tuesday, November 12, but the GES said it has extended the date by three more days, in a phenomenon of the confusion that has characterised the FSHS since its inception.
The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare in a letter dated November 10, 2019, slammed the GES and the government for the haphazard handling of school calender for senior high schools.
“…on the 14th of October, 2019, just a day
before vacation for Form 2 Track Green students, the GES suddenly announced a
one-month postponement of their vacation from October 15 to November 12, 2019.
November 8, 2019, the GES again announced a change in the reporting date for
Track Gold Form 1 student from November 12, 2019, to 16th and November 17th,
2019. This means that both Form 1 and Form 2 students on Track Gold will for
the first and second time respectively, have to delay their reporting
schedule,” the letter read.
Education Watch and other stakeholders have charged the Akufo Addo administration to issue a clearly defined roadmap that will lead to a conclusive time table for the double-track SHS academic calendar.