The Ghana Education Service (GES) has directed heads of Senior High and Technical schools to keep all Form 3 students in school during the one-week mid-semester break which starts on Tuesday, July 20.
The service, instead, wants the heads of schools to retain their students on campus but not to engage them in any academic exercise during the mid-term period.
The GES had earlier directed that students who wished to go home for the mid-semester break could do so, while those who wished to remain on campus should be fed and follow school rules.
But the GES in a statement issued on Monday said the new directive to keep students in school follows recommendations by the Ghana Health Service against the mass movement of students owing to the recent cases of the Covid-19 disease.
The GES statement signed by its Deputy Director-General, Dr. Kwabena Bempah Tandoh, advised strict adherence to the directive.
“Management of the Ghana Education Service (GES), therefore, wishes to inform Heads of Senior High and Technical Schools that students are NOT to be allowed to go home during the mid-semester period. Mid Semester break should be observed in schools with no academic activity. Academic work should resume on Monday July 26, 2021 as earlier communicated.
“By this letter, Regional Directors of Education are to inform all Heads of Senior High Schools to take note and to communicate same to staff, students and parents.”
The Ghana Health Service in its counsel to keep the students in school, said while it recognizes "the importance of occasional breaks from handwork in improving performance" and its importance "for students especially those in Form 3 as they prepare for their exams", the mid-term break may present a challenge to the already precarious situation of COVID-19 in schools and in the general population in the midst of the current outbreak of COVID-19.
"It may also present challenges to containing existing outbreaks in schools", it cautioned and recommended that:
The scheduled period for the midterm break be maintained as planned
The midterm break should be restricted to campus and boarding students must not be allowed to go home
"These actions are necessary to prevent and control outbreaks in schools and in the general population", it emphasised.
Read the two statements by the GES and GHS respectively in full below.
GES had earlier issued a statement directing all head of SHSs and Technical schools to allow their Form three students go on a mid-term break from Tuesday, July 20 to Sunday, July 25, 2021.
Read also: Form 3 mid-semester break begins tomorrow