Welcome back to school

BY: Daily Graphic

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted all aspects of life, and the educational sector was not spared.

It has overturned the academic calendar, making it difficult to keep to the original schedule.

Consequently, schools are unable to complete their activities within the academic space, and that explained the inability of schools to complete the academic calendar for 2021, which has extended into 2022.

And so, today, all first and second-year students of senior high schools (SHSs) move to their respective schools to complete the academic year by writing second semester examinations to enable them to move into the next level on the educational ladder.

The Daily Graphic extends its best wishes to all the students as they take their end-of-semester examinations and urges them to put in their best to justify the investment by the government and their parents in them.

It is our expectation that the students take this last lap of the academic year seriously by spending quality time revising their notes in preparation for the examinations, instead of idling about discussing what they did during the festivities.

They must know that time is of essence, and that wasted time can never be retrieved, as we are told that time and tide wait for no man.

As usual, students are expected to desist from all forms of hooliganism, social vices, including examination malpractice, as such acts may jeopardise their academic work.

The Daily Graphic acknowledges the effort by the management of the educational sector to address concerns in the sector.

Recently, members of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) raised pertinent issues concerning the reopening of SHSs.

Their concerns border on feeding, financing of the end-of-semester examinations, as well as the running of the general administration.

We are happy that the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) are taking steps to address those concerns.

The Daily Graphic learns that the ministry and its agency, the GES, have released funds to the schools and already started the allocation of non-perishable food items, in collaboration with the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO), to all SHSs in enough quantities that will feed the students until they complete the examinations.

Although we are happy with the development, we think that the ministry must be more proactive and not reactive to ensure smooth academic work in the schools.
We believe that management of education does not have to always wait until the situation virtually gets out of hand before responding.

The Daily Graphic expects continuous dialogue among stakeholders for a healthy educational sector.

We are not too comfortable with the number of agitation in the sector, which has the potential of triggering an industrial action that can worsen an already bad situation for students.

For instance, yesterday (January 4, 2022) members of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) said they were withdrawing their services, effective today, over the non-payment of their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) allowance since 2020.

We believe that this is not a healthy development and must be addressed with the urgency that it deserves, particularly so because the categories of personnel involved cannot be glossed over.

This group we are talking about includes domestic bursars, matrons, cooks, pantry hands, labourers, cleaners, administrators, accountants, librarians, logistics and supply officers and internal auditors.

Clearly, there cannot be an effective educational environment without these categories of personnel available.

The academic calendar is already out of gear and such actions should not be allowed to happen.