Speaker of Parliament, Alban S. K. Bagbin has asked the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum to appear before Parliament on Monday, December 4.
The Speaker’s direction follows concerns raised by the Minority in Parliament on the proposed reopening date for fresh SHS students and to provide updates on the reopening dates of schools.
Mr Bagbin proposed that the reopening date be shifted to the first week of January 2024 to allow both parents and teachers to prepare adequately, and urged Dr Adutwum to reconsider the decision.
“The house calls on and urges the Minister of Education to reconsider the directive by the Ministry of Education to students and authorities, including teaching and non-teaching staff, to resume academic work on Monday, December 4, 2023.”
“The house proposes for the consideration of the Ministry of Education the first week of January 2023 for the resumption of academic work in these schools. The Minister of Education is directed thereafter to report to brief the house on Monday, December 4.”
The Speaker explained that this adjustment would facilitate better readiness among educators and parents for the upcoming academic term.
The Ministry of Education has since received a plea to review the choice of permitting first–year Senior High School (SHS) students to commence classes on Monday, December 4, 2023.
The action comes after the Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Akasti North constituency and ranking Member of Education, Peter Kwasi Nortsu-Kotoe commented on the perceived haste in permitting students to return to schools on Monday.
On the back of this, the Minority in Parliament collectively expressed their discomfort with the reopening date, emphasising the challenges parents would face from Thursday to Sunday in preparing their children for school by Monday.
According to the Minority MPs, they found it difficult to comprehend why school placement were only released a few days ago and students were hurriedly asked to report on Monday, December 4.
The MPs mentioned that they have been receiving calls from their constituents, asking for assistance and even requesting changes to be made to their school placements.
Minority MP for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, emphasised that he had received calls from teachers expressing exhaustion and strongly advocate for additional time to rest.
The Ministry of Education however insists that First-Year Senior High School students are to report to school on Monday, December 4, 2023. The Ministry has explained that the academic calendar was put out several weeks before now, according to its spokesperson, Kwasi Kwarteng.
“Resumption date for students within the SHS space remains Monday, December 4, 2023. The expectation is that students report on the first day. But let me also hasten to add that, the first-year students who are unable to report on the first day will not automatically lose their slots.”
“Students can report the following day or even the following week, as we have always witnessed. If you look at the academic calendar, it had already been within the public space for some time now and the expectation was that parents, guardians, and even students prepared ahead of time,” he added.