All Form Three students of senior high schools (SHSs) are to report to school tomorrow to begin the first semester of the 2019/2020 academic year.
This, the Ghana Education Service (GES) says, is to enable academic work to begin in earnest on Monday, August 26, 2019.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday, the Director-General of the GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa, explained that the early reopening for the third-year students was to afford them the opportunity to cover enough before writing their final examination, scheduled for April 2020.
Last week, the GES, at a press conference, announced the reopening date for the final-year students as August 19, 2019, but rescheduled it to August 25, following strong reactions from the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and many parents.
The NAGRAT advised the GES not to compel its members to report to school around that time to teach, explaining that it should be voluntary.
Parents, for their part, complained of the short notice, and asked for more time to enable them to prepare their children for school.
Following these reactions, the GES, after consultation with the various stakeholders, rescheduled the reopening date and now says there will be no further extension of the August 25 date.
“All heads of second cycle schools should ensure that the schools are ready to receive the SHS Three students on Sunday, August 25, 2019 for academic work to begin on Monday August 26, 2019.
“Regional Directors of education are kindly requested to circulate this information for all heads of second cycle schools in their respective regions,” Prof. Opoku Amankwa said.
He said the information had already been communicated to all the stakeholders and it was the expectation of the GES that all would cooperate for a smooth take-off of the academic year.
Explaining the rationale for the early reopening, Prof. Opoku Amankwa said the early reopening for the final-year students was crucial because, “if we allow them to run the regular semester programme, they will be finishing school somewhere in August next year.”
The Director-General said that was not feasible because according to the timetable of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) the candidates would be starting their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in April and that by first week in June, they would have completed school.
He was confident that with other interventions such as early morning classes and weekend classes, the students would be able to “catch up.”
Some SHSs the Daily Graphic visited yesterday, expressed their readiness to receive the third-year students.
Heads of SHSs
Some SHSs the Daily Graphic visited expressed their readiness to receive the third-year students.
According to them, they were aware of possible challenges they were likely to face and had consequently put adequate measures in place to ensure that academic activities ran smoothly.
They made this known when the Daily Graphic visited some selected schools in Accra yesterday.
An official at the Accra Academy said the school had been working throughout the year to prepare for the students and, therefore, did not expect any major challenge, reports Prince Acquah.
“We are used to it for years now and so there is nothing to worry about. We had the information about their coming and we are fully prepared for them.
“They are doing very well academically and we expect all the 679 of them, as has always been the case for this school, to perform exceptionally well in their final examination,” the official said.
At the St Thomas Acquinas SHS, Joshua Bediako Koomson reports that an official who spoke to the Daily Graphic stated that they had made preparations to receive the students.
She said the school held an Academic Board meeting and a timetable was designed purposely for them.
“This is not a boarding school and so, we do not have boarding arrangements, we have only made the classrooms ready for them and the various teaching and learning materials are also ready,” she said.
At the Labone SHS, a teacher who also chose to remain anonymous, stated that they were prepared to receive the students.
“We have prepared the dormitories and the classrooms and they are ready. So far, we have not come across any challenge,” he told the Daily Graphic.
Mandarin Dzorgbenyo reports that at the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School (PRESEC) Legon, the Headmaster, Mr David Odjidza, told the Daily Graphic that all arrangements had been put in place to welcome the third-year students.
Speaking on general infrastructure, he said the school had adequate infrastructure to contain its students.
Mr Odjidza, however, said a six-unit and a 12-unit emergency classroom blocks were under construction to complement the already existing ones.
“These projects are expected to be completed by December to cater for any unforeseen challenges regarding infrastructure in the near future,” he said.
Mr Odjidza hinted that the school was expecting a total of 993 third-year students, saying, “we are ready for them.”