The management of the Ghana Education Service has disclosed that the new semester system that has been newly introduced in the Academic calendar of basic schools comprising kindergarten, primary, and junior high schools is here to stay.
The Deputy Director-General in charge of quality and access of the Ghana Education Service Dr. Kwabena Tandoh speaking to Bernard Avle on the Citi Breakfast show indicated that the new semester system will help ease pressure on teachers, help align academic calendars and decongest classrooms.
“We know based on research that one of the causes of classroom absenteeism among teachers in the various schools was because some teachers sought to upgrade themselves. This is because the three-term system in the basic schools overlaps with the university system. Gradually, we are getting to the point where we can align. We are giving teachers the time, by aligning their system with the university systems to upgrade if need be.” Dr. Tandoh stated
Dr. Kwabena said, “Recent research in Greater Accra showed that because primary schools had a different calendar from the Junior High Schools, parents could not align. Research also showed that because the primary school children had a different timetable from the Junior High Schools when the latter was in session, attendance went down by 11%.”
He further explained that the basic school’s students will now spend only 40 weeks in the classroom out of the 52 weeks in a year as they used to do in the trimester system.
Dr. Tandor said, “When we were doing the term system, they were in school between 13 and 15 weeks per term. In this system, they will only be in school for not more than 10 weeks per time. This initial one is only because we are trying to align the timetables.”
“The mid-semester breaks, if we add the weekends will be 10 days per semester. In all, they will be in school for 20 weeks a semester and 40 weeks per year,” Dr. Kwabena noted
He added that the new semester system in basic schools will further relieve busy parents of the pressure of work and parenting.
He further noted that the system is “here to stay”.
Dr. Tandoh noted that “It is the new normal. We are not just introducing it to align the timetables at the various levels.”